Asbestos materials are useful as insulators against electrical currents, heat and fire, and chemical degradation. Numerous industries use asbestos due to its lightweight and relatively low cost. However, for decades, the dangers of asbestos have been well-known by researches and health organizations, leading to the widespread ban of the material in many countries.
Asbestos Health Hazards
Due to the fibrous nature of asbestos minerals, microscopic slivers can break off from large, dense sheets and float into the air. People working with the materials and passersby some distance away may then inhale the slivers, where they are trapped in the lungs. If asbestos exposure persists and enough slivers are breathed in, a dangerous accumulation begins in the lungs and acts as a carcinogen, or something that causes or encourages cancerous growths.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. People exposed to asbestos develop mesothelioma at a disproportionately high rate, leading to the conclusion that asbestos inhalation causes mesothelioma cancer. Additional studies have determined that there is a strong link between asbestos exposure and throat, kidney, and gastrointestinal cancers.
Asbestos Risks are Widespread
The U.S. has not instituted a complete ban of asbestos. Industries may still use it for certain insulations, cements, and plastics. The result is that people from all walks of life may be close to dangerous asbestos on a daily basis and not even be aware of it.
People who are exposed to asbestos more often than others include:
- Construction crews
- Demolition workers
- Textile manufacturers
Prolonged exposure to asbestos is undoubtedly more dangerous than a brief exposure, but a brief exposure has been proven to be damaging enough. A person’s sensitivity to inhaling asbestos will be unique to themselves, so some may fall ill or develop cancers with minimal contact, such as living within a home that has asbestos in the attic’s insulation.
If you fear that your illness or mesothelioma has been caused by asbestos, there is a high chance that you are correct. Contact Kaiser Gornick, LLP and our San Francisco mesothelioma attorneys today to learn your rights and build your case from a team that has 60+ years of collective experience. Your initial consultation is FREE!