Mesothelioma is a devastating and deadly lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos, a fibrous material that was commonly used in many industries before its use was restricted by regulations decades ago. This is significant because the disease is known for taking years to develop and be diagnosed. Therefore, people who last worked with asbestos many years ago are just now learning about the impact it has on their health.
Unfortunately, asbestos is still used in some applications today. Precautions are taken, to be sure, but with the extent of risk involved, it is difficult to believe that some occupations still routinely expose people to this material. Even in industries where use of asbestos is restricted by heavy regulations, exposure to airborne toxins still occurs.
Whether the harmful health developments from asbestos are years in the making or they are the result of recent exposure, there are several occupations that report higher instances of mesothelioma in workers. The top five jobs most affected by mesothelioma are railroad workers, shipbuilders, factory workers, construction workers, and miners. Below is a breakdown of the specific risks associated with these occupations.
Railroad workers used asbestos for insulation around equipment, such as boilers, engines, pipes, and electrical panels. After the dangers were known, many rail companies continued to expose their employees to dangerous materials. Over the years, many of these companies have gone out of business. Former employees who ended up with mesothelioma may be able to file a claim to collect compensation from a trust fund that was set up to benefit these workers.
Because asbestos offered insulating and flame-retardant properties, naval vessels were built using the harmful material until well after World War II. Asbestos was used for gaskets and filters, as well as insulation purposes for pipes and electrical wiring. Caulking and sealants presented an inhalation hazard when the materials broke down over time.
Production machines, conveyor belts, and other factory equipment were made with asbestos years ago. Many of the factory-made products themselves also contained asbestos. Common factory-work complaints, such as small workspaces and inadequate ventilation meant that workers were unable to avoid exposure.
Asbestos was used in many construction materials, such as drywall, shingles, spackling, tiles, and concrete mixtures. Workers who handled these materials were exposed to the inhalable contaminants.
Asbestos was mined from the ground in the U.S. until 2002. Health complications experienced by miners are among the most affected by asbestos exposure.
If you developed mesothelioma or other lung issues as a result of exposure to asbestos, you may be able to collect compensation for your claim. Contact the Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to learn more. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000 to set up a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.