When You’re Exposed to Asbestos in The Workplace

Asbestos is a mineral that was used in construction materials and other goods. While most asbestos exposure occurs in the workplace, asbestos exposure is still reasonably common in other areas since it isn’t banned.

Asbestos exposure can lead to health complications. Some effects of asbestos exposure are immediate, while others can take decades to surface. When you’re exposed to asbestos in the workplace, there are a number of steps you can take.

Here are some things that happen when you’re exposed to asbestos in the workplace:

Health problems

Asbestos fibers are microscopically small, and being exposed to places where these fibers are present in the air can put you at risk. Since the fibers are so small, your body is unable to expel them once they have been inhaled. They cause inflammation and damage, which could lead to major health problems.

Asbestos exposure can cause various types of cancer. The most common is mesothelioma, but lung cancer, throat cancer, stomach cancer, and reproductive cancer can all be caused by asbestos exposure. Further, if you are lucky enough to avoid asbestos-related cancer, you might end up with damaged lungs or permanent fluid present on the lungs, which can make it hard to breathe and shorten your lifespan.

Loss of income

While you may not show symptoms or any illness immediately after being exposed to asbestos, it can make you ill in the long term. Most kinds of work where asbestos exposure occurs are physically demanding jobs like construction. The asbestos damage to your lungs can make it difficult for you to work, and may even mean you need to stop working entirely.

This loss of income can be a huge blow to you and your family. It may feel like a mountain to climb, but claiming for compensation for asbestos exposure is possible. There are a number of steps to take, but acting quickly can ensure you get the necessary compensation. While this cannot replace your income, it can keep your household afloat until other arrangements can be made.

Employer responsibility

Asbestos exposure is the employer’s responsibility. Your employer is required, by law, to protect employees from hazards in the workplace. If your employer did not make efforts to protect you from exposure to asbestos, you can sue them for negligence.

When you have been exposed to asbestos or show symptoms of exposure, contact a mesothelioma attorney to take your case. These attorneys are specialists in cases of asbestos exposure and will be able to get you the compensation you deserve. If a loved one has died from health complications that result from asbestos exposure, be sure to file a wrongful death suit.

Avoiding exposure

While asbestos has not been banned, there are laws in place regarding its use and removal. There are strict guidelines, rules, and procedures in place to ensure asbestos is removed safely and effectively to ensure that nobody is exposed to it. Asbestos removal companies have the right equipment and techniques to help you remove asbestos from your home or office.

If you are employed in asbestos removal, your employer needs to adhere to laws regarding its safe removal. These laws will include protecting those directly involved in the removal through apparatus such as hazmat suits and other safety equipment. Ensure your employer takes these precautions seriously.

Factors affecting asbestos-related disease

There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure. Breathing it in for one minute or five years can both cause the same amount of damage. However, most asbestos-related illnesses arise as a result of years of regular exposure. Similarly, an intense short-term exposure can result in the same illnesses.

The impact of asbestos on your health is only noticeable much later on. While you may be aware of your exposure from an early stage, you may not have any health problems or complications for many years still to come.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.