Asbestos was used in a variety of industries until the mid-1970s when it was discovered that exposure to asbestos caused workers to contract mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that is often fatal.
Asbestos was used as insulation in a variety of products across many industries, exposing many workers to this harmful mineral when they did not know the risks. Typically, workers are not diagnosed until decades after they stop working with asbestos-containing materials.
Workers who spent time in the following industries are at greater risk of having been exposed to asbestos:
- Construction: From 1920 to 1980, workers in all construction-related trades were at risk of exposure to asbestos because the majority of structures that were built contained asbestos in the flooring, roof, walls, pipes and insulation. Outside workers such as bulldozer operators and crane operators were also at risk because asbestos materials were cut on jobsites.
- Firefighters: Because firefighters often enter older asbestos-containing structures on the job, they are often exposed to the material. Their masks protect them from exposure during a firefight, but they may not be wearing such protective gear when entering a building to investigate once a fire is put out, placing them at risk of exposure.
- Military: Prior to the mid-1970s, all branches utilized asbestos in barracks, tanks, airplanes and ships. Those working and living in these areas were exposed and they may have exposed others to secondhand asbestos, as particles may have clung to their clothing.
- Shipbuilding: Before the mid-1970s, every ship utilized asbestos for piping insulation and other purposes. Workers may have cut or sanded down asbestos materials, sending the harmful particles into the air and exposing everyone working on the project.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it may have been caused by workplace exposure to asbestos. Call the mesothelioma attorneys at Schmidt Kramer to find out if you are entitled to compensation.