Secondhand Asbestos Exposure for Families

By Peter DePaolis

Mesothelioma does not just affect those who worked in shipyards, factories or other locations known for containing asbestos fibers. Every year, more reports of mesothelioma in spouses, children and siblings of those who worked or are working near asbestos appear all over the world. Those working in these high-risk industries unknowingly brought these toxic fibers home with them on their clothes. Then, friends and family members breathed in these particles. As a result of this secondhand asbestos exposure, many of these people develop the symptoms of mesothelioma later in life.

Our Washington DC asbestos attorneys have witnessed how secondhand exposure can affect entire families. Even before federal asbestos regulations took effect, many companies knew of the dangers of asbestos exposure. However, most of these businesses took no action to protect workers and their families. In the past, we have obtained millions of dollars for victims of these negligent companies in Washington, D.C. No amount of money can possibly make up for a mesothelioma diagnosis due to a negligent corporation. But obtaining compensation can ease your financial burdens and help pave the way for a better quality of life.

Could I Have Experienced Secondhand Asbestos Exposure?

The frightening truth is that many people face indirect asbestos exposure. In most secondhand exposure cases, workers who dealt with asbestos would return home wearing clothes covered in deadly fibers. This would spread the fibers through the air to their children and spouses, increasing their risk of mesothelioma. Many women developed mesothelioma from washing the clothes of someone who was directly exposed to asbestos. In fact, according to reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the second most common occupation for victims of mesothelioma from asbestos exposure is housewife or homemaker.

Many more mesothelioma victims may have developed cancer from living or working near an asbestos mine. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that companies extract from the ground, similar to coal and other natural resources. However, the mining process releases dangerous fibers into the air, which can reach nearby residents. DC is just one of the US territories with a history of asbestos mining. In some cases, entire communities are affected by mesothelioma because of their proximity to places in which asbestos was extracted or produced.

Companies that produced or mined asbestos could have taken measures to prevent workers and other innocent people from asbestos exposure. Despite this, companies rarely took necessary precautions, such as providing employees with showers and requiring employees to change out of work clothes before returning home to their families. Many companies knew of the dangers but failed to take preventative steps that could have saved lives.

Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you experience any of the symptoms of mesothelioma, possibly from secondhand asbestos exposure, speak with a doctor immediately. Early mesothelioma detection can give you the best possible opportunity to treat the disease. If you discover you do have mesothelioma, you may be able to get compensation by filing an asbestos lawsuit. However, cases involving secondhand asbestos exposure are often more complicated than those for mesothelioma caused by direct contact in the workplace.

First, victims of secondhand exposure are not eligible for any worker’s compensation benefits. Additionally, they may not meet the requirements for compensation through bankruptcy trusts or other asbestos funds. However, with the help of experienced asbestos injury lawyers, it is possible to prove that a negligent company directly contributed to your mesothelioma diagnosis. No matter how your asbestos exposure occurred, you deserve financial support so you can concentrate on your health.

Looking for an Asbestos Law Firm Near You? Call Our D.C. Law Firm Today

If you experienced secondhand asbestos exposure that led to mesothelioma, you may feel like there is no way to get help. However, even if you are not sure how you developed mesothelioma, our attorneys can investigate the possible cause of the disease.

Speak with our mesothelioma attorneys today by calling our offices in Washington, D.C. We offer free legal advice about your asbestos or personal injury lawsuit, and contingency fees if we take your case.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.