Asbestos: Who in Pittsburgh is most at risk?

If you've lived in Pittsburgh all your life, you're likely proud of the city's reputation for being one of the friendliest cities in the nation. Perhaps you're an avid Steelers, Pirates or Penguins fan. Like many residents in this city and its surrounding regions, you and your family may take part in the numerous cultural events and festivals that take place at The Point, in the Strip District and other local areas every year.

Living and working in Pittsburgh, however, can place you at risk for certain adverse health conditions, especially those related to asbestos. Beyond this city and other Pennsylvania towns, there are many places in the United States where hidden danger lurks due to microscopic fibers that escape into the air, possibly causing you to suffer illness if you ingest or inhale them. If you're in a high-risk category of people, you'll want to know where to seek support for asbestos-related injuries.

Many workplaces in Pittsburgh and elsewhere are high-risk areas

As a life-long Pittsburgher, you probably have parents, grandparents or other ancestors who worked in a steel mill, shipyard or coal mine. Many American workers from the 1940s on have developed terminal illnesses due to asbestos injuries their employers could have helped them prevent. The following list shows who is most at risk:

  • Construction workers
  • Those who renovate homes or remove drywall
  • Firefighters
  • Auto mechanics or manufacturers
  • Those who work in textile factories
  • Anyone who works in buildings erected before 1978

You don't necessarily have to be an employee to be at risk for an asbestos-related injury. For instance, if your parent or grandparent worked in a steel mill and interacted with you while still wearing work clothes, you may have repeatedly been exposed to dangerous asbestos particles. Illnesses associated with asbestos are often slow-developing, meaning you may not experience symptoms for many years.

The cough that won't go away and other symptoms

Whether you were born and raised in the area or moved here as an adult, if you believe you are experiencing medical symptoms that may be related to possible asbestos exposure, it is wise to seek a doctor's diagnosis of your condition. Symptoms of asbestos poisoning often include lingering cough, chest pain, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite and abdominal discomfort.

You can't turn back the hands of time. You can, however, seek restitution if an employer's negligence caused you to suffer asbestos-related injury. There are currently numerous class action lawsuits in litigation across the country regarding incidents where people who used similar products or worked in the same location have suffered incurable diseases, such as mesothelioma or other forms of cancer that they believe were preventable and caused by asbestos exposure.

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