On September 4, hoards of people across the U.S. will celebrate Labor Day, a holiday that celebrates the work of the trade and labor organizations. Many workers who have turned the U.S. into what it is today did so by risking their lives working around asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral once used in abundance at numerous job sites.
Although asbestos was once used in a variety of workplaces, the industrial industry had high amounts of asbestos, resulting in life-threatening illnesses and deaths of millions of workers. Yet, without the determination and strong work ethics of these people, the U.S. wouldn’t have many of the things we take for granted. Consider the following occupations as Labor Day approaches and what lives would have been like if not for these workers.
Running water, toilets, sinks, and faucets are things most people use daily, yet rarely think about. Plumbers were constantly put at risk when working and still are, especially in older houses that were built with asbestos-containing materials. If an old pipe starts rusting or bursts, there is a chance that asbestos fibers will get disrupted. While plumbers repair the pipes, they run the risk of inhaling asbestos. Today, most plumbers take safety measures, but in the past, many plumbers had no idea they were being exposed to asbestos as they were never given warning.
Do you enjoy having a roof over your head to sleep in at night or building for work or school? Without construction workers, this wouldn’t be possible. Prior to the mid-1980s, homes were built using asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). In fact, between the1 920s and mid-1980s, almost every building constructed had asbestos and ACMS built into them. Even though companies were given warnings regarding the dangers of asbestos, they still allowed construction workers to continue working around life-threatening asbestos fiber.
Almost every American’s life today would be dramatically different if electricians didn’t exist. Electricians are the reason behind the lights we use daily, televisions, appliances, computers, stereos, and more. As with the previously mentioned occupations, electricians were once exposed to asbestos daily, and many still run the risk of coming into contact with the harmful mineral. Wiring insulation was once coated with asbestos due to its ability to resist heat and fire.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) states that there is absolutely no safe level of asbestos. Granted, a person who is exposed to asbestos on a daily basis has a higher risk of developing a disease when compared to someone who has already been asbestos a few times. However, the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease from inhaling or ingesting a small amount of asbestos is something that can happen.
“There is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.4, 5 Asbestos exposures as short in duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans.Every occupational exposure to asbestos can cause injury of disease; every occupational exposure to asbestos contributes to the risk of getting an asbestos related disease.8 “
Many workers inhaled tiny, microscopic asbestos fibers daily to give us a more convenient life and a reason the celebrate Labor Day. This year, Mesothelioma Lawyer Center asks for the public to pause for a moment on Labor Day to remember those affected by fatal diseases simply because they wanted to work.
Mesothelioma is the most common type of disease associated with asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma occurs when someone ingests or inhales asbestos fibers that get lodged in the body. Over time, the fibers attach to the lining of major organs in the body and start to form cancerous cells.
There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, and its long dormancy period of up to 50 years makes it even more dangerous, as the disease can be in its late stages before people realize they’ve developed it. If you think you’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s crucial to let your physician known immediately. The earlier treatment starts, the better chances of prolonging survival rate.
Other types of asbestos-related illnesses include asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer.
For a list of additional occupations where asbestos was heavily used, read our article, Occupations Associated with Asbestos and Mesothelioma Cancer.
Help for People Affected by Asbestos
If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness.
Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. If you need additional assistance, we invite you contact us at 800-793-4540.