Asbestos is a known human carcinogen, which means that exposure to it can cause cancer. After years of research, medical professionals have established that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Any degree of exposure could cause cancer in certain individuals.
Federal regulatory agencies have taken steps to protect workers from this dangerous mineral substance. Modern employees generally receive notice from their employers if they are required to handle asbestos, as well as training and safety equipment for their protection. People often assume that they would know if they worked with asbestos as a result of these protocols, but employers were not always required to honor such regulations, and not all modern companies comply with them as they should.
Employers may not have made disclosures
Those diagnosed with a condition that directly relates to asbestos may need to go over their entire work history in depth. It’s more common than people realize for businesses to hide the risks that they want employees to take for their paychecks.
Workers in manufacturing facilities, automotive repair shops and construction companies may have handled asbestos without prior notification or training from their employers. It is also common for people to work in a job that may have exposed them to asbestos for a few years when they are young before changing professions later in life. These employees may need help reviewing their history to determine where exposure might have occurred.
Direct exposure isn’t always necessary to become ill
Another way that people end up exposed to asbestos is through the employment of their spouse, parent, roommate or child at a business that handles asbestos. Those who live with someone who works with asbestos could end up sickened through secondary exposure, especially if the company did not provide protective gear or proper sanitation facilities for workers exposed to asbestos during the work day. It may be possible for those with second-hand exposure to asbestos to bring a claim against the company that exposed their family member or roommate.
Seeking legal guidance to better understand how to secure rightful compensation for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses is typically the next step forward after someone determines the source of their exposure.