Despite the serious risks posed by asbestos, many people remain exposed to this dangerous substance. According to a scientific study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, asbestos-related diseases claim more than 255,000 lives per year. Workplaces are obligated to provide a safe environment for employees; however, workers continue to become exposed.
How Does Asbestos Get Into the Workplace?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used in a variety of industries for its durable and flame-resistant properties. Unfortunately, asbestos exposure can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. As a result, there are stringent guidelines in place to protect workers from exposure. However, there are many ways that asbestos can get into the workplace, and employees need to be aware of the risks.
Importation - One of the most common ways asbestos enters the workplace is by importing asbestos-containing products. These products may be imported intentionally for their asbestos content or unintentionally in products not intended to contain asbestos.
Building Constructed with Asbestos - Asbestos may also be present in the workplace due to decades of exposure. For example, construction workers who demolish old buildings may be exposed to asbestos if the buildings contain asbestos-containing materials.
Outdoor Exposure - In addition, workers in some industries, such as mining and shipbuilding, may be exposed to asbestos due to naturally occurring deposits of the mineral.
Motor Vehicles - Finally, workers may be exposed to asbestos fibers released into the air when brake linings or other products containing asbestos are sanded or otherwise disturbed.
Although regulations have been put in place to protect workers from asbestos exposure, the fact remains that this dangerous substance continues to enter the workplace and poses a serious health hazard to those who are exposed to it.
How to Reduce Asbestos Exposure
Even though there are many ways asbestos can get into the workplace, there are also many ways to reduce your risk of exposure. For example, you can ask your employer to provide information about the location and condition of any asbestos-containing materials in your workplace.
If you work with or around asbestos-containing materials, wear personal protective equipment, such as a respirator or gloves. Avoid creating dust by wetting down these materials, and clean up any dust created immediately.
When working with power tools, use wet methods to avoid creating dust. And when cleaning up after a job that involves asbestos-containing materials, be sure to use a HEPA vacuum cleaner and dispose of all waste properly.
Leading National Mesothelioma Attorneys in New York
The law firm of Levy Konigsberg has extensive experience handling asbestos exposure cases. We have helped thousands of victims receive the compensation they deserve. We will work tirelessly to recover the maximum amount of damages possible.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the exposure to asbestos, call us today at (800) 315-3806 or fill out our form online for a free consultation.