Was My Disease Caused by Asbestos?
August 24, 2015
Previous Exposure to Asbestos Can Cause Disease
In order to file an asbestos-related lawsuit, a person diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease must have some information that would demonstrate prior exposure to asbestos. Generally, the best source of information about a person’s asbestos exposure is the memory of the person who was diagnosed or the person who worked with, or around asbestos-containing products. However, you may not remember or do not know when or whether you were exposed to asbestos.
A person can be exposed to asbestos from directly working with asbestos products, bystander asbestos exposure from working in the same area as others working with asbestos products, or by take-home exposure from laundering contaminated work clothing or otherwise having contact with clothing that is carrying asbestos dust. Your mesothelioma lawyer will investigate where you were exposed to asbestos and which companies are responsible for your illness.
Other Ways People are Exposed to Asbestos
There is an increased risk of developing an asbestos-related disease if a person worked in an industry requiring constant, prolonged exposure. These individuals include many factory and construction workers, as well as shipbuilders, miners, automotive brake mechanics, and anyone else who worked with insulation materials. In the 20th century in Michigan, asbestos was used widely in heavy industry, insulation in hair dryers, electrical wiring, cement, paper, roofing materials, floorboards, and hundreds of other common items.
Asbestos products release fibers into the air. The dust is so fine that, in most cases, it can only be seen through a microscope. Many workers breathe in the asbestos dust for years without knowing it and without being aware of the effect it is having on their body. Because of the airborne nature of asbestos dust, workers do not have to be in direct contact with asbestos materials to become exposed.
The trades likely to have a high number of asbestos-related disease cases include, but are not limited to, the following: Asbestos workers, insulation workers, automobile mechanics, shipyard workers, sailors on seagoing vessels and in dry dock, maintenance employees, chemical and petroleum workers, locomotive repairmen, stationary engineers, stationary firemen, power station operators, electric and gas utility workers, fabricated plate workers, paper mill workers, construction contractors, plumbers, concrete workers, steel erectors, carpenters, electricians, pipe fitters, welders, oil field workers, boilermakers, steelworkers, drywall finishers, painters, plasterers, ironworkers, floor coverers, masons, and pot tenders.
Additionally, exposure is particularly heavy at certain job sites. Here is a partial list of common sites where exposure occurs: Chemical plants, power plants, refineries, steel mills, shipyards, manufacturing plants, commercial construction sites, residential construction sites, smelters, paper mills, oil fields, navy shipyards, and the military.