It is widely known that asbestos causes fatal respiratory conditions, including mesothelioma. Mesothelioma can lay dormant in the body for decades after exposure to asbestos. Workers who handled asbestos on the job before it became heavily regulated in the 1970s are now being diagnosed with the disease. They are not the only ones; women and children are also suffering from mesothelioma, due to secondary or household exposure.
When asbestos particles become airborne, they can be inhaled or ingested and become lodged in the chest cavity, where disease slowly develops. Workers who encounter asbestos on the job suffer from primary exposure and are susceptible to infection. Asbestos particles can also travel on workers’ shoes, clothes, tools, and hair, putting their families at risk. Secondary or household exposure is as dangerous as primary exposure.
Family Members’ Illnesses Linked to Asbestos
One of the first physicians to link asbestos to sick workers in 1897 also reported that their family members were becoming ill. Still, it took some time before secondary exposure was formally recognized as a cause of illness. The United Kingdom has documented cases of secondary exposure dating back to the 1940s; in the United States, the earliest cases were recorded in the 1950s.
Secondary exposure risk is limited now that asbestos is more tightly controlled. There are strict safety regulations in place to protect today’s workers from asbestos exposure, which in turn helps protect their families. Employers are required to provide safety measures, such as specialized laundry services for contaminated clothing and shower facilities to cleanse their skin and hair of any remaining asbestos particles.
Asbestos Exposure Still a Danger for Many
Secondary exposure is not the same as environmental exposure. Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that is still mined in certain parts of the world, and those living near asbestos deposits may be exposed. Likewise, those residing near asbestos plants or mines can suffer from community contamination; both also carry the risk of mesothelioma and are still putting people in danger today.
There is no safe level of asbestos exposure; workers and those close to them who are repeatedly exposed to asbestos run the risk of developing mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, or other diseases. Patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma are left with few treatment options and often have a short life expectancy.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Fight for the Rights of All Victims of Asbestos Exposure
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call our mesothelioma lawyers in Philadelphia at Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced legal team will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is responsible for your asbestos exposure and hold them accountable. We are committed to obtaining the compensation you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we help clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 877-743-4652 or contact us online for an initial consultation.