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Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Caused from the Work Environment: Exposure to Asbestos

Exposure to Asbestos at work can cause serious injuries and illness like mesothelioma cancer, asbestos lung cancer and long term respiratory problems. In fact, individuals who have regular workplace exposure and handling of asbestos are at the highest risk for developing mesothelioma and a variety of other asbestos related illnesses and diseases than anyone else.

You are more likely to develop an illness or asbestos related disease if you are required to handle asbestos in your work environment on a regular basis. The risk level increases with longer duration or intensity of asbestos exposure. While it is possible to have mesothelioma after a few months exposure to asbestos, most people with mesothelioma cancer have been involved in high levels of workplace exposure and for a long period of time.

Are You At Risk for Workplace Illness From Asbestos Exposure?

If you work or have worked in steel mills, plumbing, electrical industries, armed forces, mining, shipbuilding, or insulation industries – you could be at risk for asbestos illnesses and diseases from the workplace. Basically, if you’ve been at risk for breathing in toxic substances, like asbestos fibers while on the job, you are at risk. Construction workers who demolish buildings or remove drywall are also at risk; as are firefighters – as these professions are also exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

Legal Rights for Asbestos in the Workplace and Exposure Laws

Both the federal and state governments recognize workplace exposure to asbestos is a serious health hazard. OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration) defines asbestos exposure laws for what is permissible amounts of exposure to asbestos in the workplace. It is allowed for employees (and considered safe) working 8 hours a day at levels of .1 fibers per cubic centimeter; or for 30 minutes of exposure of asbestos up to 1 fiber per cubic centimeter.

Employers are required to provide employees who are exposed to asbestos with respiratory equipment and protective clothing, as well as an area to wash off any clinging asbestos fibers. They must also provide health exams regularly and ongoing safety training for employees working with asbestos.

If you have a workplace illness as a result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace, you have legal rights to file an asbestos lawsuit and seek compensation for your loss and suffering. Mesothelioma cancer and other workplace illnesses caused from asbestos often do not develop until several years after asbestos exposure, you can seek compensation after you’ve been diagnosed even if you no longer work for the company where the exposure took place.

If you have questions about your workplace illness through asbestos exposure or need an asbestos attorney to evaluate your specific case, please contact us.