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How Widespread Is Asbestos in the Workplace Nowadays?


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Many people, knowing the dangers of asbestos exposure, believe that the U.S. and other developed countries have banned the use of asbestos. Unfortunately, that is not entirely true.

answered by Michael Bartlett

Asbestos exposure is still common in some lines of work

According to a study conducted by the American Thoracic Society, approximately 1.3 million U.S. workers - primarily in the construction industry - are regularly exposed to asbestos on the job. Products containing asbestos continue to be manufactured and sold throughout the country today and thousands of buildings which have asbestos-containing materials are still standing.

At the moment, most asbestos in the U.S. comes from import and the most common products in which this carcinogenic mineral lurks nowadays include:

Even after decades of health concerns over the increase in asbestos-related diseases, exposure is still common in some occupational fields. Workers involved in refurbishment or maintenance could still be at risk, and the list also includes the following occupational groups:

  • demolition workers
  • heating and ventilation engineers
  • plumbers
  • carpenters
  • painters
  • decorators
  • roofing contractors
  • computer installers
  • electricians
  • cable layers
  • architects
  • telecommunications engineers

However, it is important to bear in mind that occupational asbestos exposure is significantly less likely to result in a life-threatening disease today, as the majority of U.S. employers comply with the strict safety regulations established by EPA and OSHA, which are meant to minimize the health hazard.

If your employment history or your current job involves working with significant amounts of asbestos and you have questions about different legal aspects of asbestos exposure, do not hesitate to contact Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. Our professional team will be happy to help you with any of your questions. For additional information, please contact us at 205.328.9200.

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Secondary exposure occurs when a person is not in direct contact with a source of asbestos. It is equally dangerous as occupational asbestos exposure and can be either domestic or environmental.

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The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file an asbestos claim after diagnosis. It varies between one and six years, depending on the state you live in.

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Trust transparency laws have been enforced by some U.S. states to protect the legal system from fraud and abuse. Some argue that these laws make the process of recovering compensation more difficult for asbestos victims.

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While inhaling asbestos fibers from old building materials can be as dangerous as occupational exposure, asbestos trust funds provide compensation mostly to former employees.

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If multiple companies are at fault for your injury, you can file a claim with the asbestos trust funds of those which are under bankruptcy protection, as well as a lawsuit against those which are not.

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Yes. If the company at fault for your asbestos exposure went out of business, you can still take legal action. However, recovering the compensation you deserve might be problematic.

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No. Only the companies which sought bankruptcy protection were required to establish asbestos trust funds as a source of compensation for injured workers and their families.

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