Asbestos Exposure During Childhood

In a recent mesothelioma lawsuit filed in Louisiana, Debrah A. Searcy reports that she was exposed to asbestos in her childhood home, after her father, who worked for a company that used asbestos in many of its products, brought the harmful fibers into the home. Although asbestos-related diseases are generally associated with older adults who were exposed while at work, people of all ages are susceptible to the dangers of asbestos, even children.

According to court documents, Searcy states that during the 1950s and 1960s, asbestos fibers were brought into her childhood home in Algiers, Louisiana, where she lived with her parents. Her father, a former employee of the  Johns-Manville facility in Louisiana, worked daily around materials, equipment, parts, and machinery that were filled with asbestos. As a result, he came home each day with an exorbitant amount of asbestos fibers on his clothing. Since birth, Searcy claims, she was breathing in asbestos fibers via second-hand exposure from her father’s clothes.

Additionally, Searcy states that her home was near contaminated sites that placed her at risk for environmental exposure one a daily basis while growing up. Asbestos was delivered to her neighborhood, the lawsuit states. Scrap metal sites and plants were located close to her home.

She was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma this year, in April.

The lawsuit, which was filed against several different companies, states that the defendants knew about, or should have known about, the hazardous risks to human health that asbestos causes. In addition, the lawsuit states that the defendants didn’t warn people and concealed the dangers of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. The defendants are also accused of failing to provide any type of safety guidelines, failing to recall asbestos-containing products, and failing to design products that contained no asbestos.

Unfortunately, many children were exposed to asbestos, and the health conditions are continuing to surface today, as it can take decades for the first symptom of asbestos-related diseases to surface. In addition to second-hand exposure to asbestos, children have been exposed to the harmful asbestos fibers in other ways, although it’s rare, including:

  • Playing in and around old building, shacks, and structures that were built with ACMs
  • Playing in attics insulated with asbestos, or around old appliances, such as furnaces, that contain asbestos
  • Drinking from water fountains with older pipes that contain asbestos (if the pipes start to break down, asbestos fiber may become loose and flow into the water)
  • Attending schools that were constructed with asbestos

Unfortunately, children are more susceptible when breathing in asbestos fibers when compared to adults. According to the Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, children’s lungs are still developing, and therefore their breathing patterns are different than adults. They breathe more frequently, increasing the chances of inhaling more asbestos fibers. However, more studies are needed to determine how much more likely children are to developing asbestos-related diseases later on in life.

 Getting Legal Help

If you were exposed to asbestos during childhood or any other time and now live with the devastating affects that comes with asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our leading mesothelioma law firm today for a free case consultation.

For more information about asbestos and asbestos-related diseases, we invite you to fill out our contact form for a free, comprehensive Mesothelioma and Asbestos Guide. Our guide is filled with invaluable resources regarding causes, detection, symptoms, treatment options, prognoses, and much more.

Sources:

  1. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/noa/docs/Asbestos%20FAQ_ENG_web.pdf
  2. http://www.aoemj.com/content/25/1/10

 

 

 

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