Yes, Workplace Asbestos Exposure is Still Going On

December 21, 2017

Chances are, when you think of Mesothelioma, you think of an older man, who held a blue-collar job for decades where he had exposure to asbestos in the workplace. While that might be true of some cases of mesothelioma, it is not an occupational disease of the past because, as a story on CNN reported, Asbestos exposure is still making people sick with a disease that has no cure, but is largely preventable.

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is associated with exposure to inhaled asbestos whether it be from an occupational or environmental source. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients have a median survival of about one year from diagnosis, but the latency period from first exposure to malignant mesothelioma can be from 20 to 40 or even more than 70 years.

Exposure to asbestos has occurred in industries such as:

  • Mining
  • Milling
  • Manufacturing
  • Shipbuilding and repair
  • Construction
  • Automotive repair

Despite much effort, asbestos exposure continues to cause lung cancer

Researchers in the CDC report on mesothelioma are confounded by the fact that younger people continue to suffer from asbestos-related medical issues despite efforts to mitigate exposures to the toxic material. The CDC report said that the number of deaths related to malignant mesothelioma increased from 2,479 in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015. While the largest increase in deaths was in patients 85 years and older. In the 16-year span of the study, about 682 people between the ages of 25 and 44 died of mesothelioma-related conditions.

When it was discovered that the microscopic fibers in asbestos can embed in lung tissue and stay there for decades before causing cancer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned most of the asbestos-related products and materials in the U.S. to drastically reduce the amount of asbestos used throughout the country. Yet, four decades on, people are still contracting mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.

Dr. Jacek Mazurek, lead author of the CDC report, said “Although deaths among persons aged less than 35 years are of concern, we do not have information to understand potential causes.”

Industries that continue to be at risk of asbestos exposure

Currently, one of the areas with the biggest risk for occupational exposure to asbestos occurs when construction workers demolish old building and work with old buildings and building materials. Roofers and railroad workers, firefighters electricians and mechanics are still at risk for asbestos exposure in the workplace.

Unfortunately, workers are not the only ones at risk for occupational asbestos exposure. Workers can carry the asbestos fibers home with them on their skin, their clothing and hair and expose their spouses to the environmental hazard. Also, those who are doing home renovations and repairs can also be at risk of inhaling asbestos particles.

The EPA and OSHA have safety regulations and restriction on asbestos-containing products and materials, yet people are still exposed to asbestos and they are still being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Workers who are diagnosed with mesothelioma may face many challenges when it comes to proving that the disease came about due to occupational exposure. A skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer will protect your right to workers’ compensation and any other compensation available to a worker suffering from exposure to asbestos.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact us right away. There are time limits for when you can bring a claim. At Larry Pitt & Associates, our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers understand what is needed to prove your lung cancer was due to hazardous conditions in the workplace. You are urged to call us at 888.PITT.LAW or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. We represent workers who were injured in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, or Berks County.