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What to Know About Asbestos Exposure

Posted on November 17, 2016 to

Maryland, Washington, D.C. And Virginia Asbestos Lawyer For Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Did I Work With Asbestos?

handling asbestosSymptoms of asbestos exposure do not show for a long time. In some instances, it can take as long as fifty years after the initial exposure to asbestos for symptoms to develop. Someone who may have worked as an insulation installer in the 1960s may now be dealing with a mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung or other cancer diagnosis related to inhaling toxic asbestos fibers. Several industries, including shipping, auto and textiles, were aware of the risks asbestos could cause but failed to warn or protect their employees from these dangers because employers ultimately chose profits over people.

While many commercials claim there are funds available to victims of asbestos exposure, more often than not these commercials are referencing bankruptcy trusts that take administrative asbestos lawsuit claims. These mesothelioma claims will only pay pennies on the dollar for the hardships families are going through. For many, filing an asbestos lawsuit with the assistance of an experienced asbestos injury attorney can gain significant amounts of asbestos compensation to cover the medical expenses as well as provide for victims, their spouses and families.

For the past 30 years, our mesothelioma law firm has assisted victims of asbestos exposure who developed asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma recover financial damages from the companies that put their health and safety in danger. Our asbestos law firm in Virginia, Maryland or DC continue to fight for victims and their loved ones wrongfully exposed on the job to dangerous asbestos fibers.

Jobs with Asbestos Exposure

A number of occupations are linked to high rates of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, such as:
Shipbuilders have a high risk of developing cancer due to asbestos exposure. This risk is higher for those who worked in shipyards between World War II and the Korean War. During this time, asbestos was used as insulation in ships’ steam pipes, boilers, incinerators and hot water pipes. Due to poor ventilation, asbestos dust would build up, exposing shipbuilders to large quantities of asbestos.

Plant Workers
The generators and turbines found in plants and factories used to contain asbestos, particularly in the gaskets, pipes and insulation. As a result, many plant workers who worked in oil refineries, chemical plants and power plants have been exposed to asbestos.

If you worked in the construction industry, you may have been exposed to asbestos fibers that were in the building materials you used. Before 1980, asbestos was often used as insulation in buildings. Additionally, many other commercial and home building products contained asbestos, including:

  • Fireproofing products
  • Spackling and taping compounds
  • Tiles, siding and roofing materials
  • Certain textiles, such as blankets, protective coverings and strong cords
  • Chalkboards
  • Cement pipe and sheet material
  • Ductwork
  • Elevator equipment
  • Gaskets

Other Industries
Other workers who may have been exposed to asbestos include firefighters, railroad workers, automobile mechanics, miners, machinists, plumbers and electricians.

Asbestos Compensation for Family Members in Virginia, DC and Maryland

Our DC mesothelioma lawyers caution that a growing number of family members who never were exposed to asbestos firsthand are now receiving diagnoses of mesothelioma, cancer and other illnesses related to exposure. Many workers collected asbestos dust on their shoes, clothing or hair and brought it home, unknowingly exposing family members. This secondhand asbestos exposure is as real and as serious as workers who handled the actual asbestos products.

Does My House Have Asbestos?

Asbestos is no longer used in manufacturing or building, but older buildings may still contain asbestos around pipes, in ceiling tiles or the walls. Any building containing asbestos that is in a deteriorating state or disturbed without taking the proper safety precautions may release asbestos into the air, exposing those who enter the building to its dangerous fibers.

In addition to its use in construction materials, some consumer products manufactured before 1980 may also contain asbestos. Such products include:

  • Home appliances
  • Wood-burning stoves
  • Handheld hair dryers
  • Irons
  • Toasters

If you bought any products before 1980, it may be in your best interest to replace them to ensure that you and your family are not exposed to asbestos.

What to Do If You Think You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos

If you or your children live, work or go to school in an older building, or if you or a loved one worked in any of the above mentioned industries, you may have been exposed to asbestos. If this is the case, visit your doctor immediately. Tell your doctor that you think you have been exposed to asbestos and explain any symptoms you are experiencing.

Early detection of asbestos exposure is often the key to gaining life-prolonging treatment for mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illnesses. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are in need of a qualified mesothelioma attorney in Virginia, DC or Maryland, speak with asbestos lawyers at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. today.