Most people at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease have worked in an industry that either mined asbestos or manufactured products with asbestos. Other high risk asbestos industries are those that used asbestos products, such as construction, shipbuilding, automotive industry-especially involving brake pads, cement factories and many other manual labor-intensive industries.
Also at risk are the families of these workers who have, in the past, brought home fibers on their clothing and bodies. Recent protective practices require workers to shower and change clothing before leaving a contaminated area, reducing the likelihood of exposing others by personal contact. However, prior to implementing these protections, those exposed to workers may still develop symptoms in the future.
One lesser-known industry is the do-it-yourself home remodeling and renovation sector, where people are not aware of the extent to which asbestos was used in older homes. Demolition industries create huge clouds of dust as older buildings come down, and many of these buildings contain extensive amounts of asbestos.
Because diseases associated with asbestos exposure have been found in people with little or no known exposure, and because asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that can be found in minute quantities anywhere, to a small degree we are all at risk. These diseases take from 10-50 years to develop symptoms
If you believe you are being exposed to asbestos and are not being informed, or have not been offered protective equipment, you can speak to your employer or whoever oversees the company that is responsible for the exposure. If they do not respond with satisfactory evidence that they are not putting you at risk, you can report them to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), or contact a lawyer experienced with asbestos cases for information on other remedies.
If you are at risk for an asbestos-related disease, you may have legal options. Please contact Brown | Kiely, LLP, the experienced mesothelioma lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. for a personalized, free consultation.