Soil and fertilizers used on farms might contain asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that farmworkers can unintentionally breathe in over a long period of time. Asbestos can cause serious diseases, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest, as there is no cure and it is aggressive.
Asbestos fibers can easily enter the lungs and even the closed cabins of tractors and other machinery. Whenever farmworkers breathe in dust and dirt while working with or near machinery, they also could breathe in small amounts of asbestos.
Additionally, a commonly used fertilizer ingredient called vermiculite can contain small amounts of asbestos. Working with fertilizer containing vermiculite could cause exposure to asbestos.
Disturbed asbestos fibers can become airborne and can be inhaled or ingested. Once asbestos fibers enter the lungs, they embed themselves in the lining of the lungs. Although repeated exposure over time increases risks, any amount of asbestos exposure is dangerous and can cause disease. Asbestos causes inflammation, scarring, and fluid to collect within the lining of the lungs.
Additionally, mesothelioma has a long latency period. Mesothelioma generally occurs between about 10 and 40 years after initial exposure to asbestos.
Workers on farms located in the Southwestern United States are especially vulnerable to asbestos exposure due to the region’s soil conditions. However, Pennsylvania farmworkers are also vulnerable.
The connection between farming and asbestos-related diseases is well-documented. If you spent several years working on farms and developed mesothelioma or another asbestos disease, your work may have been the cause.
A farmworker who develops lung disease or cancer due to asbestos exposure at work may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation. Unfortunately, the long delay between exposure and the onset of lung disease or mesothelioma often makes it difficult to obtain these benefits. You may be also eligible to file a personal injury claim.
You need a medical diagnosis that confirms you are suffering from an asbestos-related disease. Your attorney can also help provide evidence showing that your asbestos exposure caused your disease. Your medical costs and lost income are also forms of evidence that can strengthen your case.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, speak with one of our Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler right away. Call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.