Before the dangers of asbestos exposure was widely known, it was not unusual for children to play around piles of asbestos located on construction sites. Schools and asbestos factories were often in close proximity. Parents who worked in the asbestos factory might come home with dust on their clothing, unknowingly exposing their children to mesothelioma. The closer the children lived to the asbestos plant, the more likely they were to develop mesothelioma by the time they were in their 60s.
These days, there are no schools located near asbestos factories. The use of asbestos in the U.S. has declined, but it is still present in various products. Today, the greatest risk factor for children regarding asbestos exposure is living in or spending a great deal of time in homes built before 1980, especially if those dwellings are not in good repair. That is because asbestos sheeting was used in home construction until that time, primarily for walls and roofs.
Living near buildings with deteriorating asbestos is also hazardous, as cement mixed into the sheeting to hold the asbestos fibers in place breaks down over time. The wind carries these potentially deadly fibers into the local environment. Since mesothelioma symptoms may not appear for another half century if fibers are inhaled by a child, determining the source of asbestos exposure is difficult.
While children might inhale asbestos fibers, they are more likely than adults to ingest asbestos picked up from playing in or around the material. Children often put their fingers in their mouths and could ingest asbestos. Parents should contact school administrators if their children attend classes in an older building to find out where asbestos is present in the structure and what has been done for mitigation. Let children know about the dangers of asbestos and tell them what to avoid. Do not allow them to play on old building sites or around any abandoned buildings. Teach them how to recognize materials around older homes that may contain asbestos.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is symptomless in its earliest stages, so by the time symptoms appear, the disease is usually already a Stage 3 or Stage 4 cancer. Shortness of breath is one of the disease’s initial symptoms, often coming on suddenly. Other symptoms include:
If you or a loved one received a mesothelioma diagnosis due to asbestos exposure, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler at this difficult time. Call us today for a free consultation at 215-569-4000 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly represent clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.