Asbestos is a fibrous silicate material that’s found within the earth. Asbestos is mined for different reasons, one of the top being that it’s flame-resistant, so it may be woven into different kinds of cloth to make it inflammable. This mineral is resistant to chemicals as well, and it contains reinforcing properties. It’s been used to create heat-resistant clothing for metal workers and firefighters. It’s also used in reinforced materials that include pipes and cement products.
Associated Risks of Working with Asbestos
Many risks arise when someone is working with asbestos. The main risk is when fibers break down in the air and an individual breathes it in. If there are safeguards in place or they catch it quickly enough, they can remove these fibers but sometimes you can’t see them or don’t know about the dangers of having contact with it until it’s too late. Once the fibers get into the lungs, they can cause irritation and lead to pleural mesothelioma, a type of cancer. Fibers also can get into someone’s stomach and this causes a different form of mesothelioma known as peritoneal. Other types include pericardial, which affects the heart cavity, and testicular, which affects the testes.
In many cases, the symptoms of mesothelioma won’t be obvious or even show up for possibly decades. If you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, at home, or in your community, it’s crucial that you visit your doctor and address these concerns.
Industries with the Highest Risk of Asbestos Exposure
There are specific groups of workers who are exposed to asbestos more frequently and in larger amounts. They tend to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses at a higher rate. These include the following:
- Employees of naval shipyards and various commercial buildings
Regulation of Asbestos in the United States
Asbestos use has been regulated in the U.S. However, it’s still being mined and used in products in other countries. In fact, numerous countries still have asbestos mining operations with Russia coming in as the top producer.
Regardless of the fact that there’s now more regulation of asbestos in the U.S., there are people coming forward every day with injury and illness due to asbestos exposure. If you or a loved one would like to seek legal assistance you can talk to a professional at Sokolove Law who is sure to have your best interests in this matter.