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Is Occupational Asbestos Exposure Still an Issue?

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Mar 19, 2024

Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that was widely used in the 20th century, primarily from the late 19th century to the late 1970s. Asbestos was widely used in many industries and products due to its insulating, durable, and fire-resistant properties. Exposure to asbestos fibers can result in the development of several life-threatening diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

One of the ways people can get exposed to asbestos is through occupational exposure. Generally, occupational asbestos exposure occurs when someone gets exposed to asbestos at work. It is estimated that around 27 million workers were exposed to asbestos fibers between 1940 and 1979 in the United States of America. Because asbestos is not widely used anymore, one of the things people often wonder is whether occupational asbestos exposure is still an issue.

Is Occupational Asbestos Exposure Still an Issue?

The truth is that while the use of asbestos is heavily restricted, occupational asbestos exposure remains an issue in some industries and sectors. In the U.S., while the use of asbestos is heavily regulated, asbestos was banned within the past few days. Asbestos imports into the U.S. should not continue. This dangerous mineral is still used to make certain products. Asbestos is still used to make chlor-alkali products and other chemicals. Workers who manufacture consumer products that contain asbestos may be exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, a worker who gets exposed to asbestos today may not know that they have an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma until another few decades. Mesothelioma, for example, can take more than 60 years to develop after asbestos exposure.

In addition to workers being at risk of being exposed to asbestos because of the new products that are still being manufactured using asbestos, legacy asbestos poses a huge threat to workers. Legacy asbestos pertains to asbestos-contaminated materials that were used in infrastructure, buildings, and products before the use of asbestos became heavily regulated. These asbestos-containing materials continue to pose a threat to workers today. For example, workers may be exposed to asbestos when renovating or demolishing buildings. Workers responsible for maintaining and repairing infrastructure may also encounter asbestos during their work.

Secondary Asbestos Exposure

Secondary asbestos exposure is a type of asbestos exposure that affects people who do not work directly with asbestos or asbestos-related materials. This type of asbestos exposure can be just as dangerous as occupational asbestos exposure. Secondary asbestos exposure occurs when someone who works with asbestos or asbestos-contaminated materials carries asbestos fibers home on their clothing, hair, shoes, or skin. These fibers then become airborne at home and can be inhaled by the people in the house.

Unfortunately, there isn't a safe level of asbestos exposure. So, even if someone suffers secondary asbestos exposure a few times, they can still develop an asbestos-related illness. However, the risk of being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease increases with higher levels of exposure.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.




About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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