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Industrial Asbestos Workers and Poor Ventilation Systems

By Treven Pyles

Posted on June 16th, 2019

Because there was often a poor ventilation system in the plants and factories asbestos workers were spencing their working hours in, their risk of inhaling and ingesting carcinogenic fibers was very high. Consequently, a large number of former industrial workers have recently come to suffer from awful diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

In addition to the lack of adequate protective equipment such as respirators and overalls, industrial workers were exposed to asbestos through the environment they were doing their job in. This is because plants and factories often had a poor ventilation system, which prevented airborne asbestos fibers from leaving the workspace, thereby making employees inhale and ingest large amounts of carcinogenic mineral. By working in such environments for years in a row, a person is very likely to develop a terrible disease such as lung cancer or mesothelioma several decades later.

The activities in industrial environments which were responsible for releasing asbestos fibers in the air between 1920 and 1980, when the mineral was highly used, include:

  • smelting steel or copper in industrial furnaces
  • extracting metals from ores
  • stamping or mechanically cutting metals
  • casting liquid materials
  • forging metals with heat and hammers
  • sandblasting
  • vacuum metalizing products as a finishing mechanism
  • refining oils

Poor ventilation systems in industrial spaces led to asbestos fibers circulating in the air for long periods of time, which increased workers' risk of occupational exposure. While the problem could have been solved by employers providing workers with respirators and overalls and installing better ventilation systems, there were no such measures taken back in the day. Furthermore, besides breathing in toxic fibers, asbestos would stick to workers' clothing, hair and skin. Because industrial asbestos workers were not required to change their equipment or shower after their shift, asbestos fibers would end up in their homes as well, subsequently leading to secondary exposure, as their family members would inhale and ingest asbestos when greeting their husbands or fathers.

Some of the occupational groups at high risk in this respect were the following:

If you or a family member was an industrial worker who handled or was surrounded by asbestos on the job, we encourage you to undergo periodical medical examinations to make sure asbestos fibers have not affected your body. Our proficient B-readers will take a careful look at your lung X-rays free of charge, so please do not hesitate to send your documents to us. You can contact us at 205.328.9200 and we will gladly help you. In the unfortunate case you have already developed a disease, our experienced and specialized attorneys will assist you in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.