When people discuss the medical risks involved with asbestos exposure, the focus is almost exclusively on professionals who may end up exposed on the job. People ranging from automobile mechanics to Navy shipyard workers and factory employees are at risk of developing conditions such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is cancer of the organ linings.
Modern medical research has made it clear that there is no degree of asbestos exposure that is actually safe for people. Workers with any degree of employment exposure to particulate asbestos could end up sickened decades later. In fact, their family members could also be at risk for developing illnesses because of secondary exposure.
What causes secondary asbestos exposure?
Companies that exposed their workers to asbestos may not have provided adequate safety equipment to reduce the possible harm that comes from such employment. Specifically, they may not have provided appropriate coveralls to prevent someone from ending up with asbestos on their hair, skin or clothing. They may also not have provided proper facilities for workers to wash and change themselves after handling asbestos.
These workers May then have come home and exposed their family members. Trace amounts of asbestos stirred up off of someone’s clothing when you hug them in greeting or that they track on your carpet with their work boots could eventually sicken someone. So could exposure from doing laundry.
Spouses, roommates and even children of those who worked with asbestos could end up sickened even if their family member did not have any medical issues related to their asbestos exposure. Every person’s body responds differently to carcinogens, so the fact that your family member did not fall ill will not preclude you from pursuing a claim against their former employer.
Asbestos compensation may be available to anyone sickened by a business
Although secondary asbestos exposure claims can sometimes be more of a challenge than a straightforward worker claim, they are still possible and can lead to compensation for those affected by unsafe business practices.
Recognizing that your cancer might reflect what your spouse or parent did for a living could help you demand financial justice for the illness you developed because of your secondary asbestos exposure.