Asbestos Exposure Injury Lawyer
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the generic name for the fiber made from natural minerals that was commonly used to produce insulation and fireproofing materials, automotive brakes, textile products, and other commercial materials between the 1940s and late 1980s. However, exposure to asbestos can cause deadly cancers including mesothelioma, a lung cancer linked to asbestos inhalation.
It is estimated that 27.5 million Americans were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1979. Today, many asbestos-containing products remain in New York City buildings, ships, industrial facilities and other environments where the fibers can become airborne. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer. It is suspected that around 21 million people have been exposed to asbestos since the 1940s, and many more cases are expected to be reported in the next 25 years since symptoms are generally slow to develop.
Did you know…?
- About 4,000 people die from Mesothelioma every year, the rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
- Today, due to a slow onset of symptoms, a growing number of cases with workers that were exposed to asbestos in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s are expected to begin showing signs of asbestos-related cancers and other illnesses.
- Through 2003, more than 700,000 People have filed claims against more than 6,000 Asbestos companies that knew of the dangers for many years before ever warning the public of those risks.
Exposure to Asbestos Linked to Cancer and Other Health Concerns
Even the smallest exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health concerns. Asbestos has been linked to causing Mesothelioma and other cancers. In almost 90 percent of Mesothelioma cases, asbestos exposure was a contributing factor.
Mesothelioma is a cancer commonly caused by the exposure when asbestos particles are inhaled. It affects the mesothelium, a membrane that covers and protects internal organs. As a result of such exposure, abnormal cells invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. For more information about mesothelioma, click here.
How to Protect Yourself from Asbestos Exposure
If you are in an environment where exposure is likely, you should take the following precautions as released by the DEBORAH Heart and Lung Center of New Jersey:
- Wear protective clothing, shower at the end of your shift, and change before going home. Work clothes should be cleaned by a company that specializes in asbestos contamination.
- Don’t eat or drink while you are working.
- Do not smoke. Asbestos workers who smoke have up to 90 times the chance of dying of lung cancer.
- When you take a break, wash your hands thoroughly before you touch anything you put into your mouth.
- Store food and belongings away from work areas in a closed space where dust can’t settle on them.
- Pay attention to the work practices your employer teaches you. They make sense even if they seem like trouble to carry out.
- Use a special respirator for certain jobs. Ordinary dust masks are not enough protection. You may need special gloves, disposable too.
- Don’t clean brake assemblies or drums with compressed air use an enclosed vacuum system with a box that fits around the brake assembly. Never grind brake linings. You can do the job with slow lathe turning and produce less dust.
- Asbestos containing material that is wet is usually safer to work with than dry, crumbling material. Just spraying water on something doesn’t make it safe. You need to know when and how to do it.
- Don’t let other people who are not wearing protective clothing or other devices into your work area.
- Clean up carefully after the job is finished. Don’t track dust around, or leave it behind.
- Transporting and disposing of asbestos waste should only be done by a person trained in how to handle it.
- If you notice damage to materials you think might contain asbestos, report it to your supervisor right away. Don’t try to repair or clean anything that is damaged, that contains asbestos, unless you have been trained in how to do it.
- If your employer or union representatives do not correct the problems that you report, you can ask OSHA to investigate. You can also contact the Asbestos coordinator in your EPA Regional Office.
Legal Help for Asbestos exposure Victims
If you or a loved one have suffered from an illness or medical condition as a result of exposure to asbestos contact Finz & Finz, P.C., now toll free at (855) TOP-FIRM to speak with an experienced asbestos litigation lawyer or simply fill out the Free Asbestos Exposure Case Evaluation form.