For many years asbestos was considered an incredibly valuable, useful and versatile substance. It was regularly used in buildings because it is strong, has a high resistance to heat and was inexpensive with plenty of supply available.
At the time there was no knowledge of the danger it posed to those who were continually exposed to it. With workers in different industries around the world being exposed to asbestos, it’s a problem that continues to haunt those working in certain industries.
But, why are some industries more at risk than others?
Probably unsurprisingly, the construction industry holds a risk for asbestos exposure. This is especially so for workers who are destroying or renovating older buildings and uncovering asbestos as they go. Due to asbestos being commonplace in buildings erected from around 1940 up until its partial ban in 1989, it can be found everywhere in older structures. It may not be possible for workers to know they are around asbestos until they’ve already been exposed.
Asbestos was mined for many years in the 20th century. It is a naturally occurring mineral that required extraction and, as such, mine workers faced exposure every day for many years.
When firefighters are sent to fires occurring in homes built before 1980, they are at high risk of asbestos exposure due to it being used in insulation, roofing and tiling. Responding to emergencies on a repeat basis increased the risk of exposure.
Working in factories, machine operators often made tools that used asbestos materials. The heavy machinery used may also have released asbestos fibers into the air, causing them to be ingested on a regular basis.
Working in an industry where you, or your loved one, had regular exposure to asbestos can result in serious medical concerns. Seeking compensation can help in coping with the pain and loss caused as a result.