Among all of the blue-collar positions that Americans hold, mining is one of those most at risk for asbestos exposure on the job. Because asbestos and other natural minerals have been mined from our earth throughout the centuries, those that worked in those mines are very much at risk for asbestos-related diseases today.
Asbestos miners obviously came into contact with the substance as they dug up the earth to harvest it for production purposes. Coming into contact with the raw material exposed workers to dangerous levels of the known carcinogen.
While there are no functioning asbestos mines in the United States today, the activity took place up until late 20th century. Those that worked in and lived around mines have an increased risk for exposure. In fact, today, many of those that lived and worked in towns in which asbestos mines were present are beginning to experience asbestos-related diseases.
In some cases, asbestos was able to contaminate the mines used to harvest other types of naturally-occurring minerals within our earth. Talcum products are just one example of an instance in which asbestos has contaminated a mineral (talc) during mining and milling processes.
If you have or are working as a miner, you are at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease in your lifetime. Be sure you alert your doctor to the possibility of a diagnosis so they can monitor your health accurately. You might also be entitled to compensation for your illness. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an asbestos lawyer if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.