Millions of people were exposed to asbestos from the 1940s to the 1970s. While the use of asbestos has greatly decreased in Pennsylvania, some people continue to be exposed to it at work. Asbestos exposure can cause people to develop mesothelioma, which is a type of terminal cancer that can appear years after the exposure occurred.
While asbestos isn’t as widely used as it once was, around 3,000 people are diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma in the U.S. each year. Most people who are exposed to asbestos are exposed to it when they encounter asbestos-containing materials that were installed long ago. People who work in the construction industry face the greatest risk of asbestos exposure when they perform renovation work. However, firefighters, utility and gas workers, and others also face risks of being exposed to asbestos while they are performing their jobs.
People who do not come into contact with asbestos may still be exposed to the fibers and develop mesothelioma. This is because the fibers can be carried on the clothes of people who work around it at their jobs. Many major corporations also continue to use asbestos cement to house fiber optic cable, endangering people who are tasked with installing and maintaining the lines.
Asbestos exposure can lead to asbestosis and mesothelioma. People who develop these conditions may have been exposed to asbestos decades before. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help by investigating his or her client’s case to identify when the exposure occurred and the company that is responsible for it. He or she might help his or her client to recover compensation from an asbestos trust fund that has been established to pay claims to people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. An attorney might also be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible company as long as it is still in business.