There are inherent risks involved in a number of professions (like playing professional football or working on an oil rig), but there are some risks you might not always think about. One example is exposure to asbestos.
While asbestos use is strictly regulated, Louisiana law permits the use of asbestos in certain products. For more information, visit the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s website or consult with an experienced asbestos attorney.
It is important to be aware of the risk of asbestos exposure if you work in one of the following professions:
- Firefighting — This is a dangerous profession for numerous reasons (e.g., fire, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, among others). But one potential danger that might not be readily apparent is asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers can easily become airborne when a building catches fire and firefighters are working to put out the blaze. Even though firefighters wear protective equipment they are still at risk of exposure. (Note that fibers can linger on clothing.)
- Construction — This is one of the most common sources of asbestos exposure. Construction and demolition workers, including carpenters, plumbers, insulators, roofers and painters, often work in buildings where asbestos products are in use, have been removed or are breaking down.
- Mechanics — Certain car parts, like brake pads, transmission components and gaskets may contain asbestos.
- Asbestos removal — If you work in asbestos removal then your risk of asbestos exposure is obvious. But you might not be aware of the dangers of secondhand exposure. Keep in mind that your exposure can put loved ones at risk (because asbestos fibers can linger on clothing, etc.).
- Blacksmiths — Asbestos is sometimes used in fire retardants and insulators used by blacksmiths and other metalworkers.
This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to proceed with caution if you suspect there is a risk of asbestos exposure at your workplace.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website lists several examples of products that may contain asbestos, including roofing materials, textured paint, automobile clutches and brakes, hot water and steam pipes, and oil and coal furnaces. Visit the EPA’s website for more details and for more information about asbestos exposure generally.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos minerals are composed of durable fibers that are resistant to fire and many chemicals. Because of its durability, builders have incorporated asbestos into insulation and other construction materials since the 1800s. Unfortunately, we now know that if asbestos fibers become airborne and are inhaled, they can cause significant health problems, including:
- Asbestosis — as asbestos fibers are inhaled, they may become trapped in the lung tissue and eventually cause scarring, which can impede proper lung functioning; and
- Mesothelioma — a cancer of the outer lining of the lung and chest as well as the abdominal wall.
Be sure to wear protective covering if you know that you will be exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos Attorney in Houma, LA
If you were exposed to asbestos in your workplace and have been diagnosed with asbestosis or mesothelioma (which can only be caused by asbestos exposure), you might be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced mesothelioma attorneys at the Patrick Yancey Law Firm today.