There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos.
As a result, anyone who has been exposed to asbestos is at risk for developing mesothelioma. And the risk does not only extend to those who worked directly with or around asbestos. People with direct exposure to asbestos can also unknowingly put their family members at risk from asbestos fibers they carry home on their clothing.
Workers who were exposed to asbestos for long periods of time, such as those in the construction, pipefitting and plastering professions, have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. The symptoms of mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease do not appear until 15 to 50 years after exposure, meaning most people are diagnosed long after they retire.
“Second-hand” or indirect exposure to asbestos is also a prevalent cause of mesothelioma and asbestos disease. For example, the wives and children of heavily exposed workers develop mesothelioma, lung cancer, even asbestosis from indirect exposures like washing their husband’s or father’s asbestos-laden work clothing. Sadly, many people who are diagnosed had no idea that they were ever exposed.
Even workers with a brief exposure to asbestos develop mesothelioma. Many times someone with very little on-the-job exposure, such as a teenager who had a brief summer job in construction, will develop the disease.
The O’Brien Law Firm can help determine when and how someone was exposed to asbestos and which companies are to blame. Some of the most vulnerable occupations include Laborers, Operating Engineers, Plumbers, Refinery Workers, Sheet Metal Workers and Shipyard Workers. The list below is merely represntative of the trades particularly at risk: