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The Hidden Danger: How Asbestos Poses a Threat in Buildings

The Hidden Danger: How Asbestos Poses a Threat in Buildings

Asbestos kills. Unfortunately, years ago the material’s hazards weren’t known about. This led to many people working with it unmasked. Being in close proximity to asbestos without a mask on can cause serious harm, leading to certain types of cancer. Late actor Steve McQueen, for example, was exposed to large amounts of asbestos during his military service. This asbestos caused mesothelioma, an aggressive type of cancer, that ultimately killed him. In modern construction, asbestos is never used. However, many older buildings still have it installed, mainly because it is dangerous to remove it. This post will explore how asbestos poses a threat and why you need to watch out for it.


What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of fibrous minerals. Historically, it was used to strengthen and fireproof the materials used in construction, i.e., brick walls. It was very commonly used in chimneys. When dormant, the material cannot harm you. However, if touched or broken up, asbestos fibers become airborne. When they go airborne and are inhaled, they become trapped in the lungs. Asbestos fibers trapped in a person’s lungs can cause mesothelioma, the disease that killed Steve McQueen, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Mild exposure to asbestos is not typically enough to cause any of these diseases, though. It is only after regular contact with the material that these diseases become a risk. That being said, even though light exposure is usually harmless, it’s better not to take the risk. Stay away from asbestos.

Asbestos Use

The use of asbestos is banned in over 50 countries, including the United Kingdom. Strangely, however, the material remains legal for use in the United States. In spite of its legality, people regularly pay to have it removed from their houses. If you suspect asbestos has been used in the construction of your house, hire a professional removal service. Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to get rid of it yourself. Independent asbestos removal is extremely dangerous. The professionals trained to remove asbestos have respirators, hazmat suits, and a whole host of tools at their disposal. The chances are that you have none of these. If you are interested in hiring a company to remove asbestos from your house or a building that you are a stakeholder in, make sure you find one with good reviews and a solid reputation. The more positively reviewed an asbestos removal firm is, the better.

Exposure to Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos should be taken seriously. Whilst it’s unlikely that light exposure is going to lead to adverse health effects, tests should still be performed. If you work in construction or demolition, your chances of encountering asbestos are higher than a normal person’s. Your employer should make it their mission to ensure you never meet the material without the proper equipment, i.e., respirators and bodysuits. Unfortunately, many people’s employers don’t take precautions and protect employees against the dangers of asbestos.

If you suspect that your employer did knowingly expose you to asbestos, act. You can get a formal mesothelioma diagnosis in Seattle or any other city or state. A diagnosis of mesothelioma is confirmation that you have been in contact with asbestos at some point in your life. If you worked in construction or demolition (or still do) and a diagnosis of this kind comes, you need to get in touch with an attorney and file a lawsuit against your former employer. Negligence that leads to people suffering from conditions like mesothelioma is unacceptable and ruins people’s lives.

a building with a metal roof and a metal door 

Seeking Legal Support

If you have been exposed to asbestos because of an employer’s negligence, legal action is essential. The steps you need to take are as follows:

  • Find a personal injury attorney. The first step in making a claim for compensation is to find a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer will be able to give your case the care and consideration it deserves, ensuring you get a settlement amount that’s right for you.
  • Launch a claim. Once you have found an attorney, you can go ahead and formally launch your claim. Making a claim is pretty straightforward. After sitting down for a consultation with your chosen attorney, they will give you the option to take legal action against your former employer.
  • Remain truthful. Throughout your lawsuit, make sure that you remain truthful and stick to the facts. Do not exaggerate or embellish statements. If you do, your attorney will remove you as a client, and your chances of getting compensation become slim to none.
  • Find others. If your employer exposed you to asbestos, there is a chance that colleagues of yours were also exposed. Consider tracking them down and giving their contact information to your lawyer. They may also be able to make a claim for compensation full clock

Regular Medical Testing

If you know for certain that you were exposed to asbestos, regular medical testing is important. Getting yourself tested can help you to catch diseases like asbestosis early. Catching them early can prevent them from becoming more serious. In the case of cancer, early diagnosis can prevent cancer from metastasizing. Make sure that you go to a professional clinic trained in asbestos-related illnesses. Only a clinic of this kind is going to be able to diagnose you with a high degree of certainty. Regular healthcare professionals and medical clinics have no experience dealing with asbestos. 

Avoiding Future Contact

Moving forward in your life, now you know the harm of asbestos, you need to do everything you can to avoid being exposed to it. Avoiding asbestos exposure is a relatively simple thing to do. If you think that you are working with or around asbestos, make sure you invest in proper safety equipment. Do not hesitate to call your employer out if they are encouraging people to work around asbestos without safety gear. In addition to calling them out, consider reporting them. Do not allow a negligent employer to risk the lives of their employees.

Asbestos is a material that can ruin a person’s life. Light exposure is not usually serious, but don’t take any chances. If you are working with or around it, make sure you take safety precautions. The advice given here can help you to keep safe when in its presence.

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