The United States Senate recently passed the National Asbestos Awareness Week resolution. This bipartisan resolution marks the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The designation serves as an opportunity to remind the public about some important facts regarding asbestos.
Three of the most important include the following.
#1: Asbestos exposure can cause cancer
Although naturally occurring, we know this small fiber can cause cancer. When we inhale tiny asbestos fibers, they remain within our bodies for decades. Although small, the fibers have sharp edges that can scar our delicate tissues, like the lining of our lungs and other organs. Over a span of 10 to 50 years the toll these fibers take on our bodies can result in development of deadly cancers like mesothelioma or asbestosis.
#2: Exposure can come in surprising places
Many believe that the only individuals who face exposure to asbestos are blue collar workers. It is true that those in construction, automotive, and similar industries are at an increased risk due to the use of asbestos containing materials in these industries, as discussed in more detail in a previous post available here.
However, it is important to know that the risk extends far beyond these fields.
Disturbance of asbestos containing insulation, tiles, or carpeting in the places we learn, live, and work can also lead to exposure. Exposure can even occur when we come in contact with loved ones who were exposed, as the fiber can transfer from their clothing into our environment.
#3: You can hold the manufacturer or employer accountable for the expenses that come with a cancer diagnosis
Those who develop cancer as a result of asbestos exposure through employment or use of a dangerous product can likely hold the manufacturer or employer accountable. This can lead to much needed funds to cover the cost of treatment, medications, and supplement wages if unable to work as a result of the disease.