We recently wrote about the risk of asbestos exposure among workers in traditionally "blue collar" jobs. Construction work, manufacturing and metalwork are just a few examples of jobs where individuals often worked alongside asbestos or worked with asbestos directly.
A recent news story from the Pittsburgh area highlights the health problems some retired workers have already suffered, as well as the asbestos-related health risks other workers are just starting to worry about.
The news story discusses health screenings given to now-retired men who were members of the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 12. The screenings were prepaid by the union members through small paycheck deductions during their careers. And as many of the retired workers are reaching their mid to late 60s, health problems related to asbestos exposure are beginning to manifest.
As most people know, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases have lengthy latency periods. The effects of exposure may not become apparent for 25 years or more. So even though the use of asbestos is now much less common than it once was, retired workers regularly faced exposure risks.
A 69-year-old union member who recently participated in health screenings has already developed asbestosis. He told reporters that "it was right after I retired [in 2004] that I started having problems." He needs to be particularly vigilant about his health because asbestosis leaves him at higher risk for mesothelioma.
If you have developed a disease related to occupational exposure to asbestos, you may have options for compensation. Please discuss your case with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.