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Firsthand and Secondhand Asbestos Exposure

Firsthand and Secondhand Asbestos Exposure: The air we breathe might not seem to be at the forefront of one's mind, as we expect it to be free and clean of toxins. This, however, is not a perfect world and the environment is prone to have its flaws. One flaw is asbestos and its tricky fibers that fill the air around us, oftentimes without us knowing. Asbestos exposure is actually more common than people realize, and even today those who have been exposed might not know it. 

Silent but Potentially Deadly

Asbestos exposure is no joke. Exposure to asbestos particles can cause such diseases as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. At least eight million Americans have had sufficient exposure to asbestos, either through firsthand exposure at work, or using commercial products containing it, or through secondhand exposure such as cleaning the clothes of someone who is exposed to a significant amount of asbestos.

Firsthand Asbestos Exposure

An obvious way to be exposed to asbestos is through inhalation (breathing the fibers into your lungs). The second, less common exposure pathway is ingestion, or swallowing asbestos fibers.

Aside from the natural fibers in the air we breathe, certain places and environments are more susceptible to harmful amounts of asbestos. For example, many Veterans who worked in shipyards or on navy vessels were exposed to asbestos in areas where it was used for insulation. Asbestos resists corrosion and high temperatures and can be used to insulate many common things such as boilers, turbines and pumps.

Miners and construction workers can also be exposed on a daily basis. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has estimated that 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry are exposed to asbestos on the job doing things such as repair and maintenance.

Secondhand Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is not just prevalent in those who breathe it on a daily basis. It can resonate at home and in the community as well. Take, for instance, the many wives and children of those who worked in the shipyards during World War II. The fibers transferred to the workers' clothing, causing the families to fall ill. More recently, in Alabama, a family was awarded a $3.5 million verdict because the mother was exposed to secondhand asbestos and died from mesothelioma. The family sued the Tennessee Valley Authority alleging that she was exposed to asbestos fibers while washing her husband's work clothes over the span of about 20 years.

Get the Help You Need

Firsthand and secondhand asbestos exposure can have different effects on each individual person. The length of exposure, the time frame, and other medical factors can determine how much compensation you may receive depending on your diagnosis. Michael Throneberry has personal experience, extensive knowledge, and is not limited geographically. Contact the Throneberry Law Group today at 888-506-1131 for your free consultation.

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