For many years, we have been aware that asbestos is incredibly toxic to the human body when inhaled. It can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and/or mesothelioma, as well as other health complications. Unfortunately, many workers are still at risk for asbestos exposure in the workplace, and some cosmetics manufacturers still use asbestos in their powder products, though it is widely known to be a carcinogen.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully exposed to asbestos by your employer and/or a product manufacturer, you should speak with asbestos attorneys as soon as possible. If you can prove negligence on their part, you may be due compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Asbestos in the Workplace
Though you would think that exposure to asbestos and use of asbestos in the workplace would have been eradicated by now, it is sadly not the case. Some jobs that are especially susceptible to asbestos exposure include but are not limited to:
- HVAC equipment repair
- Janitorial services
- Automotive repair
- Construction (especially demolition and renovation)
The fact that these jobs have an innately higher risk of asbestos exposure does not relieve employers from the duty to protect workers as much as possible. If you are in one of these high-risk fields, you should know your rights as an employee.
Asbestos exposure is supposed to be carefully monitored and regulated, per standards defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Though your job may allow a certain amount of asbestos exposure, your employer is required to take necessary steps to protect all employees from the health risks associated with asbestos.
Depending on the level of asbestos exposure in your field, you may be entitled to a number of protective services, including but not limited to:
- Proper ventilation in workspaces
- Medical monitoring of asbestos exposure
- Clearly labeled warning signs in areas where asbestos exposure is likely
- Respirators and other protective equipment
- Post-exposure precautions (e.g., showers and decontamination areas)
If you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace and any or all of these precautions have not been taken, asbestos attorneys can assist you. They will discuss your case with you to determine whether or not your employer is guilty of negligence and/or what path you should take to gain compensation, especially if you have developed asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, or other health concerns associated with asbestos.
Asbestos in Beauty Products
Another disturbing instance of asbestos exposure comes with exposure over time through cosmetic products. Just last year, a woman found that she had developed mesothelioma, a rare and often deadly form of lung cancer that is almost exclusively associated with asbestos exposure.
The woman had never worked in a field where she would be exposed to asbestos. There was no asbestos in the insulation or materials of her house, and the gravel on roads she regularly drove upon was tested for asbestos, too, with negative results.
The cause of this woman’s severe illness was eventually traced back to the talcum powder she had been using for most of her life. The cosmetics company that produced it had known of the existence of asbestos in this product for decades and had made no changes to their formula. Negligence was easy to prove in this case.
If you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos through a household or personal care product, consult with asbestos attorneys right away. It is through no fault of your own that your health has been put at risk, and asbestos attorneys can help you get the compensation you need.