Findings from an analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control could prove worrying for residents of Ohio and others across the nation. The CDC found that each year thousands of people are still dying from mesothelioma, a type of cancer associated with asbestos inhalation. This despite the fact that the material has been under regulation for decades to try to curb the fatalities associated with exposure to the dangerous material.
Companies in Ohio and across the nation should be reasonably responsible for the safety of their employees. Sometimes, of course, a worker is injured or becomes ill due to a simple oversight or laxity on the part of an employer, and while this is still unacceptable, it is far less upsetting than cases of blatant disregard for employee well-being. A recent case of asbestos litigation in another state demonstrated just such an instance of disregard after a company letter surfaced that demonstrated both knowledge and indifference in regard to the link between asbestos exposure and the resultant increased risk of cancer to employees.
Asbestos has been an ongoing problem in Ohio and across the United States, with symptoms showing up years or even decades after the original time of exposure. A recent piece of asbestos litigation in another state, however, may help expound upon another ongoing legal question: does a company's responsibility to protect against hazardous material exposure stop with the employee or extend to cover other members of the employee's household? This question has applied specifically in the past to work environments rife with asbestos.
Anyone in Ohio who suffers with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis -- or knows someone who has -- understands the physical and emotional pain that accompanies the diagnosis. It is safe to say that the exact number of asbestos-related deaths is not known. This is because public health administrators do not always attribute a disease to asbestos exposure. For example, despite the fact that many cases of lung cancer are related to asbestos contamination, that fact is seldom included in a victim's cause of death statement.
Typically, a patient in Ohio suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma receives psychological care similar to those who suffer from advanced lung cancer. Patients of both forms of cancer complain of concern for their families, the poor attitudes of health-care providers and fear of death. While the two cancers have some similarities in physical and emotional needs, studies show that patients with MPM also have marked differences.
Significant changes may be coming in the way chemicals are federally regulated, and for many workers in Ohio, this may be a very good thing. Forty years after the passage of the Toxic Substance Control Act, reforms are being enacted which give the federal Environmental Protection Agency more leeway in restricting certain chemicals. Many hope this will greatly limit the opportunities for deadly asbestos exposure.
There is no denying the dangers that asbestos poses to the health and well-being of everyone exposed to it. Ohio workers tasked with safely removing the toxic substance are especially at risk for contracting deadly disease -- such as mesothelioma -- months and even years after the initial exposure. Still, with all of this knowledge, some employers continue to knowingly put people in unnecessarily risky positions by failing to alert them to asbestos exposure.
Field and other wild fires certainly raise concern in the community, but that concern is typically geared toward protecting people, homes and nearby wildlife. A recent field fire in Ohio put the local community on much different alert. Local Environmental Protection Agency investigators were dispatched to the extinguished field fire in order to determine if asbestos exposure had occurred.
Few people -- if any -- can claim ignorance when it comes to the dangers of asbestos. With the real-life impact of asbestos as well understood as it is, some people in Ohio might be under the impression that asbestos-related cancer and other illnesses is a thing of the past, something with which only older generations have to deal. The jarring reality is that many employers still put their workers at risk for asbestos exposure, and some of them do it knowingly.
A lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company will proceed after it was reinstated by an appeals court. The lawsuit was filed by the widow and children of a mesothelioma victim. Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure, and seeking compensation via legal action is a common choice that surviving family members in Ohio make.