Secondary Asbestos Exposure
In the mid-1950s, doctors and scientists realized that mesothelioma is a dangerous form of cancer that primarily results from direct exposure to asbestos. This research helped lead to the government’s severe restrictions and ban regarding asbestos that was put into place in the 1980s. However, it is only now that physicians are recognizing a plethora of asbestos-related disease cases in women and children—people who generally did not experience firsthand asbestos exposure.
Secondary asbestos exposure, also called secondhand asbestos exposure, can occur in both the home and the community. Even though it is not direct exposure, secondhand asbestos can still cause the same health problems, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
Asbestos Exposure in the Home
Now, any jobs that involve the slightest risk of asbestos exposure require the workers to wear thick protective gear and sometimes even ventilation masks to prevent asbestos inhalation. However, before the asbestos ban and phase-out, men who worked with asbestos would come home with the fibers caught in their clothes. They could then release into the air of the house, where women and children then inhaled the fibers in secondhand exposure.
Community Asbestos Exposure
For communities near asbestos mines and processing plants, microscopic asbestos fibers can escape the industrial facilities and permeate the air in the vicinity. Also, asbestos dust can settle on the ground, to be stirred up by cars and pedestrians. When you inhale these airborne particles, it can severely damage your lungs and put you at risk for cancer.
Secondhand asbestos exposure can endanger your health and well-being. If you suspect that you have endured secondary asbestos exposure, you should talk to your doctor immediately about early detection tests for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. For more information regarding secondary asbestos exposure, please fill out the contact form at the top right-hand corner of the page today.