Asbestos is a very abundant and very dangerous material. Inhalation of microscopic airborne asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Many people have been exposed to asbestos, either in the workplace or in their homes, without their knowledge. This article will help you understand the sources of asbestos exposure, and learn whether you may have been a victim of corporate negligence. If you have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer, and you believe that asbestos was involved, you may have a legal claim.The risk of toxic exposure is greatest for people who have worked in industries and workplaces in which asbestos products were used. These include:
- asbestos mining and milling
- manufacture of asbestos tiles
- manufacture of asbestos fabrics
- shipbuilding trades
- insulation work in construction
- pipe fitters
- railroad workers
- building demolition
- drywall installation
- drywall removal
- other asbestos removal
- asbestos tile setters
- boiler workers
- aluminum plant workers
- manufacture of brake linings
Shipbuilding and ship repair involves many materials that contain asbestos, and in shipyards workers often worked in small, poorly ventilated spaces with materials that released large quantities of asbestos fibers into the air. In Southern California, the Long Beach Shipyard (also called the US Naval Dry Docks and the Terminal Island Naval Shipyard), the San Diego Naval Shipyard, and NASSCO have employed thousands of workers in the shipbuilding trades, including pipe fitters, boilermakers, electricians, welders, machinists, filers, polishers, sanders, buffers, heat treaters, maintenance workers, engineers, draftsmen, and others.
People who have worked in shipbuilding in any capacity, even for a matter of weeks or months, at any time in their lives, are at increased risk for developing mesothelioma. They should always tell their healthcare providers about their exposure.
Many people live in homes built before 1990, in which asbestos was widely used in construction, or they work or go to school in buildings where asbestos products were used. As long as the asbestos-containing materials such as asphalt tile and roofing materials are not sanded, scraped, filed, cut, or otherwise disturbed or removed, the asbestos fibers are less likely to escape into air and the inhalation hazard is low.
If a person lives or works in a structure in which one or more of these or other asbestos-containing products have been removed or disturbed, the risk of asbestos exposure rises. Removal of products that contain to asbestos should be done only by workers trained in asbestos removal.
If you have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, and you believe that your mesothelioma developed as a result of workplace exposure to asbestos, you may have a legal claim against the corporation that permitted the exposure, or the manufacturer of the asbestos product.