Asbestos is virtually everywhere. It is a mineral that exists naturally in a fibrous manner that is unaffected by heat, chemical, water and electricity. Throughout the 20th century, this material was used in construction industry, commercial and household products, concrete, joint compound paints and other materials. It even existed in electrical appliances.
Throughout the world, relevant authorities regulated asbestos exposure in the workplace in 1971. Before then, many workers contracted asbestos-related diseases which eventually led to numerous deaths. A number of tort litigations also arose due to such concern which created a wave of agitation amongst workers.
In this day and age, we can still find asbestos in buildings, schools, factories, trains and automobiles. There has been proper regulation in many countries but not all of them have completely banned them. A number of products still use asbestos in their production.
Here are professions that still get asbestos-related diseases:
Thousands of construction products contain asbestos. Prior to 1980s, almost all construction materials used such products which then resulted in such exposure causing diseases.
Firefighters damage asbestos product in their professional activity which then becomes airborne. The fibres exposed then result in negative consequences.
These are by far the most affected professionals who have been victimized by asbestos-related diseases. Industrial works include mechanical workers, chemical workers and trade labourers who get exposed to an asbestos product like insulations and textiles. This increases the risk of contracting such diseases.
Power Plant Workers
Heat resistant products like pipe insulations and fireproofing sprays were initially the most common sources of asbestos exposure. Cutting the pipes and handling such materials increases the risk of power plant workers. A study concluded that over 33 percent of power plant workers had asbestos in their samples of sputum.
Over 30 percent of asbestos-related lawsuits were filed by government shipyard workers. Those working on repairs of vessels and boiler workers experience high exposure. This is one of the fields where risk is high.
These were some of the high-risk occupations but there are other occupations where the risk is moderate or low like appliance installers, blacksmiths, aeronautical workers and more. The cancer called mesothelioma is caused by asbestos which usually results in death.
The government has taken action in most of the places by passing Acts and regulations to limit or even completely restrict the use of such substances. Asbestos compensation has been granted in cases of tort where workplace owners are negligent in maintaining an asbestos-free environment. This has resulted in a compensation culture where victims of mesothelioma have filed suits against their owners. This not only results in benefiting the victim and victim’s family who receives damages in return but also sets an example for employers to be accountable. Exemplary damages have been served by courts to ensure that no such incident takes place in near future. Nevertheless, asbestos-related diseases have now been occurring very less.
Photo by Asbestos Testing