Mesothelioma is a devastating cancer caused by asbestos exposure. In many instances, the exposure does not happen just once - it takes place over time.
Prolonged asbestos exposure is likely to happen to an employee who works around the substance, day after day. While people usually envision a construction worker or pipefitter handling such materials and products, many are surprised to find out that teachers are some of those most at risk for a mesothelioma diagnosis due to occupational asbestos exposure are retired teachers. But why?
Older School Buildings Contain Asbestos
Despite the known dangers of asbestos, the United States did not recognized it as a hazardous substance until the late 1970s. Prior to this point in time, it was seen as an affordable, durable, and "magical" mineral that was worked into construction materials and thousands of consumer products. About half of America's school buildings that stand today were built with asbestos-containing materials and products.
Mesothelioma has a Long Latency Period
It can take years or decades for the symptoms of mesothelioma to appear in an individual. Exposure from ten to fifty years ago could result in a diagnosis today. This is why retired teachers are more at risk for a mesothelioma diagnosis than those who have recently entered the workforce.
While any amount of asbestos exposure is unsafe, those who experience prolonged exposure are more likely to face a mesothelioma diagnosis in their lifetime. If you are a retired teacher who fears a mesothelioma diagnosis due to years of work in older classrooms, you are not alone. We urge you to update a doctor with your work history, so they can better track the symptoms of mesothelioma if and when they arise.
If a diagnosis has been made, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced mesothelioma attorney who can help determine your legal rights.