Exposure to asbestos is the biggest threat that construction workers come in contact with on a daily basis. There are 1.3 million workers who are at risk for exposure daily, construction workers make up the majority of them. Construction workers are constantly involved in renovations, demolitions, and the re-building of old structures; therefore they are at high risk to be exposure to amphibole fibers, which are highly lethal strands of asbestos. Construction companies are required to have safeguards to protect their employees from exposure to asbestos.
Since the 19th century, asbestos has been used from construction and building purposes. It was used frequently for insulation, pipefitting, boiler making, shipbuilding and repair, utilities and power plants, chemical plants and refineries, carpentry, and automotive repair. The amphibole strand of asbestos was used frequently in vinyl floor tile, ceiling tile, adhesives, coatings, duct insulation for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, roofing materials, and insulated electrical wire and panels were used in buildings built before 1980.
Chrysotile asbestos is used today in place of amphobile asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos particles are heavier; therefore, they fall to the ground faster and do not hang in the air for long periods of time. This is why it is not common for humans to be exposed for contact or inhalation of asbestos particles. Amphobile gives higher risk of exposure because the particles are suspended in the air for a long time.
A great amount of exposure to and inhalation of amphibole fiber asbestos is shown to increase the risk of asbestosis, a form of fibrosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is directly linked to asbestos exposure. The latency period of these diseases can range from 20 to 40 years. Because of this construction workers who worked in construction between 20 to 40 years ago are just now showing signs and symptoms of the diseases that result from asbestos.
This doesn?t make it impossible to contract a disease from asbestos today because many of the buildings in the United States were built before 1980. Because of many renovations, construction workers that are involved with old buildings still are at risk for asbestos exposure.
The U.S. Department of Labor provides people who work in areas where asbestos exposure is frequent with standards to protect their employees from asbestos exposure. Not only do employers have laws, but they also have access to interactive compliance tools and third party companies that will guide them in preserving an environment that has no risk to asbestos exposure.
Despite many warnings from the government and crucial penalties for not following asbestos standards, many construction companies still require their employees to work in areas where asbestos exposure is frequent. If you believe you were exposed to asbestos during your work or have acquired a disease that is a result of asbestos exposure prior to 1980, you should contact a professional attorney that can help you recognize your rights and establish a verdict.
For a free consultation, call Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Thomson today!