It is important to take note of the fact that any exposure to asbestos increases a person’s chance of contracting mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. Did you know that workers have been exposed to the substance for years (and sometimes decades) at a time at their jobs? Many employers and asbestos manufactures knew of the dangers of asbestos and allowed workers to handle the substance until the late 1970s.
Asbestos exposure is regulated today by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for asbestos in the workplace is 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter, but it should still be understood that any amount of exposure can be deadly.
The employers in these trades and more must follow certain rules and regulations to prevent asbestos exposure:
Insulation is just one of the products that asbestos was most used within. As a result, insulators, construction workers, pipefitters, and other kinds of workers were exposed to the substance. Today, workers come into contact with it during remodeling or demolition projects.
Some asbestos mines were not closed until the 1990s, meaning those workers will soon start to experience the effects of exposure at one point or another. Although the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases can take decades to appear, concentrated amounts from the source can accelerate the process.
Many railroad workers are among those who were subjected to long-term asbestos exposure, as asbestos insulation was used on mains, pipes, boilers, brakes, gaskets, and in other places within locomotives, cabooses, and other train cars into the 1960s. Railroad workers today face asbestos exposure from trains and cars manufactured in other countries – most recently 40 locomotives built in China were put on the tracks with asbestos-containing materials built into them.
Workers are not the only ones who should fear exposure on the job. The families of these workers would often be subject to secondary asbestos exposure after hugging or doing the laundry of their loved one. Asbestos fibers are microscopic, yet mobile – they follow workers home from the workplace on their clothes and the seats of their cars.
If you have been diagnosed with any disease related to asbestos exposure, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced asbestos attorney as soon as possible.