Asbestos has been widely used in products for decades. It is inexpensive and fire-resistant, and the fibers are incredibly strong. However, it is also dangerous and can cause mesothelioma. Despite these risks, companies used asbestos in various materials, contributing to a disproportionate number of people in certain occupations being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
With Labor Day approaching, it is a good time to recognize why some workers are more likely to have asbestos-related illnesses and what resources exist to support them.
Service members have a higher risk of asbestos exposure than many other occupations because:
- Asbestos was widely used in shipyards and military vessels.
- They serve in countries with less rigid asbestos regulations.
- They work around crumbling or demolished buildings.
- Asbestos products are common on military bases.
For these reasons, veterans (especially U.S. Navy veterans) have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma.
Veterans who get sick can be eligible for VA disability compensation and financial remedies from any legal action they may pursue.
Construction workers, electricians, carpenters and manufacturing workers are also at risk. These jobs require individuals to work with older products and in older buildings, which commonly contain asbestos.
Manufacturers used asbestos in:
- Roof shingles
- Floor tiles
- Paper products
Workers building, demolishing or repairing these materials can breathe in any asbestos fibers released into the air.
In some cases, workers who get mesothelioma from occupational exposure can be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and compensation from third-party liability claims.
Knowing the risks
Understanding asbestos exposure risks in certain jobs is crucial. Not only can this knowledge inform medical care or testing that may be necessary, but it can also help people in these roles today protect themselves.
Knowing these risks can also help workers diagnosed with mesothelioma recognize the importance of seeking compensation and support. While money and lawsuits cannot undo the damage, they can provide the resources and accountability victims deserve.
Here at Weinstein Caggiano we’ve been helping Washington mesothelioma victims and their families for over 30 years from our only office right here in Seattle. Please do not hesitate to call our office for a free consultation if you or someone you know have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.