Every industry exposes employees to workplace risks, but some are more dangerous than others. This is why certain people are more likely to end up with work-related illnesses like mesothelioma. Worksites that contain asbestos can cause employees to develop life-threatening diseases that do not show up until decades have passed.
When asbestos is disturbed, microscopic fibers get released into the air. If it is breathed in, the fibers can get trapped in the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring. Asbestos is also linked to cancers of the pharynx, stomach, and colorectum.
Employees in the following industries are at higher risk of asbestos exposure:
Asbestos exposure can be direct, indirect, frequent, or infrequent. Construction, manufacturing, mining, and shipbuilding workers generally have more exposure; employees who work for suppliers, travel to various job sites, and move between departments might have indirect or incidental asbestos exposure.
The first commercial asbestos insulation products appeared around the late 1800s, and the first asbestos-related disease was detected 20 years later. The federal government did not place a moratorium on the production of asbestos productions until the early 1970s. Asbestos products were still produced and installed until 1989.
It is still found in buildings, ships, cars, trains, and roads in the U.S.; asbestos is regulated but not banned.
Workplace asbestos exposure is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (DPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In 1971, the EPS defined which materials were toxic and worked with the OSHA to determine maximum exposure amounts.
Since then, OSHA has reduced the maximum permitted workplace asbestos concentration. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their worksites comply with permissible exposure limits (PEL), and OSHA monitors airborne asbestos levels to ensure that they do not go over the set limits.
Workers who were exposed to asbestos at worksites and developed related diseases may have legal rights to fair compensation. Many employers are liable for the costs associated with occupational asbestos exposure.
The symptoms of asbestos diseases can develop gradually and be deadly. Contact a skilled Philadelphia asbestos attorney at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease and need legal representation. Call 215-569-4000 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.