Asbestos was widely used during the 20th century because of its durability. Millions of workers were exposed to asbestos during the 20th century. After the dangers were known, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limited the use of asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can cause mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer, and other diseases such as asbestosis and lung cancer. While asbestos is not banned in the United States of America, regulations that have been put in place have reduced exposure in many occupations. However, many workers are still at risk of asbestos exposure. Below, we share six occupations still at risk of asbestos exposure in 2023.
Countless buildings were made with asbestos-contaminated materials because asbestos was considered the perfect building material. Asbestos acts as an insulator, has good fire protection properties, and protects against corrosion. Many buildings constructed between 1920 and 1980 still have asbestos-containing materials. Construction workers who work in old buildings are at risk of asbestos exposure. Construction workers can suffer asbestos exposure when removing, repairing, or demolishing asbestos-contaminated materials. These actions can release asbestos particles into the air and make it easier for construction workers to inhale them.