Construction workers face an elevated risk when it comes to asbestos exposure and asbestos-related lung disease and lung cancer, such as mesothelioma. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. There are a number of dangers that are clearly present at a construction site. Workers are at risk of falling from heights, being struck by an object or even electrocuted. Workers have a way of avoiding or protecting themselves against these types of hazards. But there are also dangers at construction sites that are not as obvious, specifically, asbestos exposure that causes mesothelioma.
What Is The Link Between Asbestos And Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is a flame and heat resistant mineral, which was once used in many different construction materials. But, in the mid-1960s, scientific research showed that breathing asbestos fibers could cause a variety of serious lung illnesses such as lung disease and lung cancer. In fact, asbestos is the only confirmed cause of mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer where cancerous cells are found in the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall. This cancer is primarily caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers and individuals can be diagnosed with mesothelioma decades after they are exposed to it. While construction products today don’t contain asbestos, contaminated building materials that were used in past construction still exist and expose workers to asbestos.
Which Workers Are At Risk from Asbestos Exposure?
According to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, about 1.3 million construction industry workers are still at risk for occupational asbestos exposure. Demolition workers are particularly at high risk, especially when they are working on older structures. Here are some additional categories of workers who are at high risk of asbestos exposure:
- Drywall workers: When they are on the job, drywall workers can release asbestos fibers into the air as they cut through drywall or fasten them to a building’s framework. Several studies have shown that drywall workers experience a heightened risk for asbestos-related diseases.
- Masons and bricklayers: In older buildings, raw asbestos was mixed into compounds for bricks and stones. Masonry and bricklayers face a higher risk of encountering asbestos fibers as they work, particularly on older buildings.
- Roofers and tile workers: A number of roofs and tiles in older buildings also contain asbestos. According to one study, 30 percent of roofing workers who handles asbestos faced air concentrations above the permissible limit.
- Painters: It is also a well-known fact that many painters used paint or textured coatings that contained asbestos.
Some other occupations that might be at risk include shipyard workers, asbestos miners, those who do insulation work, those who do asbestos removal work, firefighters and automobile workers.
Speak With an Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or someone you know has suffered from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. The Rhode Island personal injury law firm of d’Oliveira & Associates works with experienced mesothelioma lawyers who can file a mesothelioma lawsuit on your behalf. There are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us toll free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out our contact form online.