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The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Many homes and commercial buildings constructed before 1980 contain asbestos. It was regularly used in construction between 1930 and 1970 in the United States. Although asbestos is now known to pose significant health dangers, many people exposed to it in earlier years have suffered serious injuries, illnesses, and diseases.

Homes and buildings built in earlier years, often contain asbestos found in roof shingles, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, flashing and siding, and insulation materials in attics, around ducts and pipes, and in joint compounds. In many older homes, asbestos may be present in patching compounds used on ceiling and wall joints, as well as textured ceilings and walls. The texture that’s commonly seen on many ceilings and walls in older homes and buildings is made with asbestos compounds and fibers.

When people try to sand and smooth textured walls and ceilings, this dislodges asbestos fibers and sends them floating through the air. Since fibers are so fine, they can float in the air for up to 72 hours before they settle. If fans or air conditioners are running, fibers can float in the air much longer. Tiny particles can easily be inhaled into the lungs and airways creating significant health problems caused by asbestos exposure.

Asbestos is a known toxin that causes lung cancer and mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure. People diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a fatal disease, usually only live about one year after the first signs of their illness appear. Once cancer cells spread beyond their original location, surgery and other treatment methods are no longer a viable option. In many cases, a mesothelioma pittsburgh law firm often deals with family members for injury claims.

Workers who are employed in construction and building trades, demolition, shipbuilding, railroad work, and automotive industries are at greater risk of asbestos exposure in the workplace. They have a greater chance of developing asbestos-related diseases including lung cancer, asbestosis, asbestos pleural disease, and fatal mesothelioma. Family members of these workers also face increased risks of asbestos exposure by dust brought into the home on the worker’s skin, hair, clothing, and shoes.