People at Risk

For the vast majority of people who get sick from exposure to toxic substances, their exposure occurred in the workplace. Because certain occupations carry greater risks than others, let’s examine a few occupations that put its workers at higher risk for toxic exposure.

Aerospace Workers

The aerospace industry frequently works with beryllium, because it is a low-density metal. However, if not properly handled, beryllium exposure puts workers at risk: Research has found that beryllium dust may cause fatal lung cancer and other lung diseases.

Construction Workers

The construction industry works with many materials known to be harmful if inhaled or ingested. Construction workers may be exposed to silica dust, asbestos and a wide range of chemical fumes, all of which can cause illness.

Food Industry/Flavorings

The CDC estimates that industry employees who work with natural and artificial flavorings in food can be exposed to up to one thousand disease-causing chemicals. Among the most common is diacetyl, the buttery flavoring found in microwave popcorn, which causes an irreversible lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, known as “popcorn lung.”


Miners may be exposed to hundreds of carcinogens or other toxic substances, depending on what they mine. Often, miners become ill because they inadvertently inhaled the minerals as dust particles. Asbestos miners are at risk for mesothelioma, while coal miners are at risk for black lung disease. Other mining workers may be exposed to silica, which is linked to silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other ailments.


Welders may be exposed to dangerous metallic substances and fumes caused during the melting of metal—most commonly manganese, which can cause tremor-like symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.

Other Workers At Risk

Here’s a partial list of those in occupations possibly at risk due to toxic exposure:

  • Appliance installers
  • Electricians
  • Factory workers
  • HVAC technicians
  • Insulators
  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Railroad workers
  • Textile workers
  • Transportation industry (especially those carrying hazardous materials)

Call the Madeksho Law Firm

If you have been diagnosed with a disease known to be caused by harmful chemicals, we may be able to help. Call the Madeksho Law Firm for a FREE consultation at 1-888-910-6376, or contact us here. There is never a fee unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.