Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of pleural mesothelioma in the world, and is a major threat to construction workers who are exposed to materials containing asbestos. It causes tumor formation in the visceral lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, and other vital organs. Despite the dangers of mesothelioma, some pro-asbestos manufacturers are claiming asbestos manufacturing isn’t as dangerous as it once was, and that it’s safer to work with the substance today…And, they may have a point…
How Do People Become Exposed to Asbestos?
Asbestos is an insulating material that was widely used between the 1940s and 1980s. It was prized for its heat and fire resistance, as well as its ability to resist corrosion. Because of these properties it was used in the construction of many homes and businesses throughout the world.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), asbestos fibers are too small to be seen, but breathing these fibers can “result in loss of lung function.” Moreover, “asbestos also causes cancer of the lung and other diseases such as mesothelioma of the pleura which is a fatal malignant tumor of the membrane lining the cavity of the lung or stomach.”
Because asbestos wasn’t well regulated, many workers were exposed to these fibers by breathing them in. Today, it’s sometimes unknown if asbestos was used during construction, and this puts demolition crews and renovators at risk of exposure. If asbestos is in a building, and workers unwittingly breathe it in, they could suffer health ramifications. Asbestos is and will remain a toxic substance, but safety standards do significantly reduce risk.
Safety Standards in Manufacturing
OSHA warns that “there is no ‘safe’ level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.” Despite this, asbestos is still widely used in material development, but only when precautions are taken to protect workers.
Asbestos cement, particularly, is an industry that employs over 1 million people, and produces 4.2 million tons of AC sheets and pipes containing the material. The industry continues to thrive due to advanced safety precautions. It’s argued that there is a demand for asbestos cement products, “which are economically and durability-wise much more beneficial than the other alternatives” in an article titled, “Who wins if asbestos cement is banned?” The article reminds readers that advanced safety precautions have made this industry less dangerous than it once was.
OSHA does have standards for construction companies, and demands that manufacturers protect their workers “by establishing regulated areas, controlling certain work practices and instituting engineering controls to reduce the airborne levels.” Protective equipment, asbestos training, and medical monitoring are all required by OSHA. It’s the responsibility of every company to carefully instruct their employees on the dangers of asbestos exposure, and materials containing asbestos must be properly labeled with warnings.
Despite OSHA standards being enforced by the law, some construction companies are unscrupulous and cut corners to save money. This is why asbestos is still a dangerous substance, and will always remain a dangerous substance. It’s out there, but employees don’t always know it’s there or the risks they pose working with it.
Those who have developed mesothelioma should consult with specialized mesothelioma law firms as they work to understand the complex nature of the disease and lawsuits in which it is involved. Many courts have awarded damaged individuals with compensation and many asbestos companies have trust funds in place to help provide medical care and compensation for victims.
If you have recently been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, it is in your best interest to explore your legal options and do all you can to protect your rights. With the help of a lawyer, you can rest assured your case will be given the due attention it needs to ensure you are properly compensated for your damages.
Article Submitted By Community Writer