Thursday, November 15, 2007

Asbestos in the Workplace: The Occupational Time Bomb

A blog posting on asbestos in the workplace asserts that there are entire classes of workers who have been put in danger without even knowing it.

Contrary to popular belief, asbestos when left alone, poses little threat to human inhalation though those asbestos containing materials should be replaced as a rule. However it is when it is damaged by heat, weather, or other force which renders it “friable,” when it is most dangerous.

When the asbestos fibers become loosened or otherwise disturbed by any number of factors they become airborne and inhaled.

Occupational hazards are the most common origin of asbestos related health complications. Duties which engage asbestos materials are those who are the most likely to disturb the particles and inhale them. This can happen in a myriad of occupational situations but is most common in shipyards, construction sites, and some areas of manufacturing.

Asbestos related diseases, such as the lung cancer mesothelioma, are incredibly painful and debilitating ailments, in which in the absence of a cure the body will eventually asphyxiate itself. Often the symptoms of asbestos related respiratory complications will not appear for several years, even decades after an exposure.
This can lead many to be unaware of the causal relationship between a prior occupational exposure and the reality that they now have to deal with.

It is important that if you have been exposed to asbestos, or think you may have been exposed while working in one of the above or related industries that you seek the assistance of a physician. There are medical, emotional, and legal support structures already in place to assist victims of occupational asbestos exposure. Early detection of the disease is the primary variable which can increase treatment and quality of life management options.

If you, a coworker or a family member has been exposed to asbestos, contact the law firm of LEVY PHILLIPS & KONIGSBERG, LLP. LPK has been a pioneer in representing victims of asbestos exposure, and is one of the nation’s premier law firms in the areas of toxic torts, product liability, personal injury, and discrimination law.

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