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Is asbestos exposure really that serious?

Asbestos' effectiveness as a fire retardant led it to become a commonly used insulation product in many homes and other buildings in the United States. However, it was not until people began to grow ill from continued exposure that consumers learned of its deadly side effects. Although people in Ohio are now mostly protected from asbestos exposure in newer buildings, there is still a surprising amount of risk in certain areas that can lead to mesothelioma or other serious illnesses. 

Fleeting exposure to asbestos might not cause any long-term health problems, but individuals in certain industries or other situations face the risk of dealing with asbestos-tainted material on a strikingly regular basis. Construction workers, in particular, often require serious safety precautions when working on any buildings that were built prior to the 1980s when asbestos was still a commonly used material even in private residences. Mechanics, firefighters and even the men and women serving the country as members of the military are also at risk for injuries due to long-term exposure. 

These exposures lead to about 3,000 new mesothelioma diagnoses annually. Mesothelioma is a horrific form of cancer that causes victims to suffer severe pain in their abdomens and chests, trouble breathing, and exacerbated fatigue. There are few treatment options available for those suffering from mesothelioma, and, by the time patients typically receive a diagnosis, there are hardly any options left. In general, those diagnosed with mesothelioma are only candidates to receive treatment that will lessen their pain during the last stages of their lives. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has multiple regulations concerning workers and asbestos exposure, but, sadly, Ohio employees can still be put at risk by negligent employers. Mesothelioma is a terrible form of cancer that places unfair physical, emotional and financial burdens on both victims and their families. In a day and age when most people expect employers to care about protecting workers, victims have the right to receive just and adequate compensation for their related injuries and suffering that, with proper safety techniques, could likely have been avoided.

Source: FindLaw, "Mesothelioma and Asbestos", Accessed on May 2, 2015

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