There are two types of asbestos exposure — primary and secondary exposure. Primary asbestos exposure, also called occupational exposure, occurs when someone who works with asbestos or asbestos-containing materials suffers exposure at work. Occupations at great risk of asbestos exposure include construction, firefighting, power plant, shipyard, mining, factory, and boiler work. Secondary exposure, which is also called second-hand exposure, is when someone who does not directly work with asbestos or asbestos-contaminated materials suffers asbestos exposure. Most people know about primary asbestos exposure, but some people do not know about secondary exposure. Some people do not know that secondary asbestos exposure can lead to asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Below, we share some crucial things you need to know about secondary asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Fibers are Not Confined to a Work Space
Asbestos fibers are not confined to a work environment. These tiny fibers can find their way out of a work environment. Asbestos fibers can get stuck on, for example, a construction worker’s clothes, hair, or skin. The worker can then unknowingly carry the asbestos fibers home. This may then lead to the people living with the construction workers suffering asbestos exposure. For example, the worker’s spouse may suffer asbestos exposure when cleaning asbestos-contaminated clothes. This is how secondary asbestos exposure occurs.