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How, where, and to whom the deadliest asbestos exposure damage occurs
There are a variety of patterns that emerge for victims that suffer asbestos exposure and the resulting cancer diagnoses. Asbestos exposure primarily occurs in the workplace through direct or indirect exposure to products containing asbestos.
Once contaminated, many workers may cause secondary asbestos exposure among family members by unintentionally bringing it into the home. Other sources of exposure are naturally occurring deposits of asbestos found in the environment.
Companies manufactured thousands of products using asbestos fibers–including insulation, drywall, ceiling and floor tiles, cement, paint and more. Most U.S. homes and commercial buildings built before 1980 contain products with varying levels of asbestos.
Many construction products containing asbestos travel through waste water after flooding and other natural disasters. This is how construction products can contaminate waterways with asbestos in the groundwater supply.
The most common occupational exposure to asbestos typically occurs at the following job sites:
- Metal Works
- Power Plants
- Chemical Plants
Occupations such as drywall tapers, electricians, firefighters, auto mechanics and many other occupations remain at risk of asbestos exposure despite efforts to reduce or eliminate the substance on job sites.
The various health risks caused by extended asbestos exposure
No level of asbestos exposure is ever considered safe–as such, most problems arise after years of repeated and long-term exposure to products and job sites containing this deadly carcinogen.
A few of the most common diagnoses that may result from over-exposure to asbestos include:
- Ovarian cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer confirmed in 2012 that asbestos causes ovarian cancer.
- Laryngeal cancer. The National Institutes of Health confirmed in 2006 that asbestos causes laryngeal cancer.
- Mesothelioma. This is a rare and incurable cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs or abdomen.
- Lung cancer. Asbestos-related lung cancer accounts for approximately 4% of all lung cancer cases.
Research–such as a 2020 study in which some researchers believe asbestos should be listed as a possible risk factor for bile duct cancer–continues to investigate other diseases that might be caused by asbestos exposure.
It may take between 10 to 70 years after the dates of initial exposure for asbestos-related diagnoses to develop–this includes related cancers that usually take 20-50 years to develop.
Studies have also drawn a connection between people exposed to asbestos that also smoked as being at greatest risk of developing lung cancer.
The Direct Case Justice team believes that victims of asbestos exposure resulting in a deadly cancer diagnosis should have the right to hold organizations responsible for that exposure accountable for compensation and justice.
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