In the 20th century, asbestos was typically used in commercial-building construction. Due to its durability, asbestos was a common material used at the time. It was also fire-resistant, making it the perfect tool for those working in the construction field. The material was typically used in renovations spanning from roofing, wallboards, siding, sheetrock, flooring, and drywalling; therefore, those using the substance had a high likelihood of asbestos exposure. It was also used in other ways, including in toaster ovens and other household appliances. Unfortunately, the substance’s popularity led to many cases of asbestos-related diseases. This was due to frequent exposure during projects, demolitions, and remodels.
Asbestos is dangerous due to the nature of its fibers, which have sharp edges. When inhaled, it can lead to severe damage in one’s lung, abdomen, and heart tissue. Those who work with asbestos, including construction workers, are inhaling the sharp, microscopic asbestos fibers. This ingestion often leads to mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer. Jobs that are particularly at-risk for asbestos exposure include:
There is significant proof that the individuals working in construction have a higher likelihood of developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. In fact, Moffitt Cancer Center listed the construction field as one of the most at-risk fields for developing mesothelioma. Even more shocking, studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that an estimated 80 percent of asbestos exposure in the 20th century was linked to construction workers.
There are four types of mesothelioma; pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular. The type of mesothelioma one develops is typically dependent on where the asbestos fibers travel to after being inhaled or ingested. For instance, pleural mesothelioma is due to asbestos exposure to the pleura; the lining of the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma is due to asbestos exposure to the peritoneum; the lining of the abdomen. Finally, pericardial mesothelioma is due to asbestos exposure to the pericardium; the lining of the heart.
Individuals who worked in the construction field during the 20th century are just now beginning to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. This is due to the latency period of mesothelioma. The process of cellular mutation takes about 20 to 50 years to fully manifest itself in an individual. Due to this latency period, many of the victims have retired from their construction jobs. Despite the length of time, it is important to hold responsible parties accountable for their role in a victim’s diagnosis.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact a Philadelphia mesothelioma attorney at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our lawyers help clients obtain the best possible outcomes through expert legal counsel. If you are interested in speaking to a mesothelioma attorney, contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.