People at Risk

Does everyone who is exposed to asbestos risk getting mesothelioma? Who is most at risk?

Everyone is exposed to at least low levels of asbestos, because it can be found in the air, water and soil, as well as in the insulation and building materials of some older buildings. However, most people will not develop mesothelioma from trace amounts. Generally speaking, the more intense and prolonged your exposure to asbestos, the greater your risk of eventually developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

People With the Greatest Risk

The people statistically most likely to develop mesothelioma are those whose exposure to asbestos occurs as an occupational hazard on the job—whether in manufacturing or in demolition, etc.

Some common professions with asbestos exposure include but are not limited to:

  • Blacksmiths
  • Boilermakers
  • Brick and stone masons
  • Construction workers
  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Factory workers
  • Firefighters
  • Home inspectors
  • Household appliance installers
  • Industrial workers
  • Insulators
  • Machinists
  • Military veterans
  • Power plant workers
  • Sheet metal workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Smelter operators
  • Telephone repair technicians
  • Textile operators

Additionally, many professions that are asbestos-free today were once high-risk professions before asbestos was removed from their workplaces. If you worked in any of these professions prior to the 1980s, you may have had above-average exposure to asbestos:

  • Aircraft and automobile mechanics
  • Hairdressers
  • HVAC workers
  • Iron workers
  • Plumbers
  • Railroad workers
  • Roofers
  • Welders
  • People with secondary exposure risk such as families, children and loved ones.

Secondary Exposure

People who work in high-risk occupations for asbestos exposure may also inadvertently put their loved ones at risk through what is known as “secondary exposure.” Asbestos fibers can lodge onto workers’ clothing, shoes, hair and skin, which in turn may be transferred person-to-person to their family members at home through regular exposure, laundry and contact. Today, more and more companies are taking steps to mitigate these risks by setting up special guidelines in the handling of asbestos (e.g., wearing protective clothing and showering after exposure).

In addition, people who live in older buildings may be at increased risk of exposure to asbestos. The asbestos in these structures can be fairly harmless if undisturbed, but when insulation and tiles begin to decompose, they may release asbestos into the air.

Exceptional Circumstances

A catastrophic event may expose large numbers of people to dangerous concentrations of asbestos. A prime example is the 9/11 attacks and the fall of the World Trade Center towers: This exposed thousands of people to many tons of asbestos, both at the time of collapse and during recovery efforts afterward. While many first responders, workers and volunteers have already gotten ill or died due to other illnesses related to this event, in 10-20 years, we may see some of them develop mesothelioma.

Call the Madeksho Law Firm

With more than 45 years of experience helping mesothelioma victims and their families, Madeksho Law can be one of your most valuable resources in getting the compensation you deserve. We will work with you to determine the right legal strategy and plan of action for you and your family. It is not always necessary to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for an asbestos-related injury, and there is never a fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf. For more information, call us for a FREE consultation at 888-910-MESO (6376).