Asbestos is a mineral that can be found organically in the environment in a number of everyday products, including insulation, shingles, brakes and flooring. Given its presence in a number of everyday products, once broken up, asbestos can be particularly harmful to an individual’s health.
While it is utilized in the manufacture of the aforementioned products because of its ability to withstand heat, the release of its dust, if inhaled, can result in its deadly fibers settling in an individual’s stomach or lungs. The accumulation of these fibers, over time, can result in a crippling illness know as mesothelioma.
Although researchers are still working to understand how mesothelioma develops, what has been proven is that symptoms of the deadly health condition can take some 20- to 40-years to develop after an initial asbestos exposure. Many who are exposed to asbestos die without ever being properly diagnosed as having suffered from this type of cancer at all.
While this evidence suggests that some individuals may be more predisposed to the condition or engage in other risk factors than others, preliminary data does suggest certain behaviors put some individuals at risk more than others. One such risk factor includes having been personally exposed to asbestos during your lifetime, whether at home or work.
Another risk factor that puts individuals at risk for developing mesothelioma during their lifetime includes living in a home with an individual who has direct exposure to asbestos as well. Much like second hand smoke, those residing with an individual with asbestos exposure are subject to their companion bringing home these toxic fibers on their clothes or skin.
These fibers attach to different objects in an individual’s home creating a toxic cesspool for years into the future. The only way an individual working with asbestos can avoid endangering others and contaminating their home environment is by attempting to shower and change their clothes at their workplace before returning home. This is particularly critical for those who work among high concentrations of asbestos.
Additionally, current scientific research points to mesothelioma potentially being something individuals are genetically predisposed to. Individuals with parents, children, or siblings that have come down with the illness tend to show an increased risk of the disease than those who do not have that same family history.
If you are suffering from mesothelioma, an Atlanta workplace illness attorney can advise you in your legal matter.
Source: Mayo Clinic, “Asbestos exposure: The primary risk factor for mesothelioma,” accessed April 07, 2017