You've assessed some facts and, being a fairly lucky person, you figure you're "in the clear." Las Vegas personal injury attorneys discuss asbestos and if you really are "in the clear."
Fact: Low levels of asbestos are present in the air, water and soil.
Fact: Everyone is exposed to asbestos as some point in their life.
Fact: Most people do not become ill from asbestos, which the National Cancer Institute defines as "a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable threads (and are) resistant to heat, fire and chemicals and do not conduct electricity."
Fact: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos in 1989.
Many workers remain vulnerable to asbestos, Las Vegas personal injury attorneys say
While health care experts agree on these facts, they also agree on a few others, including the fact asbestos still kills at least 12,000 people every year – often those involved in demolishing, constructing, removing drywall and performing other trade work on homes and office buildings built before 1989.
Firefighters, police officers and rescue and recovery workers also are at risk – a fact that shook the public's consciousness after the World Trade Towers fell and nearly 70 percent of the first and second responders suffered new or worsened respiratory symptoms in the months and years following September 11, 2001.
For many of them, the exposure process was similar, the American Cancer Society says: "When asbestos fibers in the air are inhaled, they can stick to mucus in the throat, trachea or bronchi (large breathing tubes of the lungs) and might be cleared by being coughed up or swallowed. But some fibers reach the ends of the small airways in the lungs or penetrate into the outer lining of the lung and chest wall. These fibers can irritate the cells in the lung or chest wall and eventually cause lung cancer or mesothelioma."
Las Vegas personal injury attorneys point to other chilling facts
Researchers agree the health risks from asbestos exposure increase commensurately with the potency of the asbestos and the duration of the exposure itself. The Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez point to two other chilling facts:
- Researchers have found asbestos-related diseases in people who were exposed to asbestos for only brief periods of time.
- It can take years for symptoms of asbestos exposure to appear. In fact, the cancer institute says "Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after their first exposure. It can take 40 years or more for symptoms of an asbestos-related condition to appear."
Las Vegas personal injury attorneys urge workers to be proactive
Clearly, at-risk workers can ill afford to be complacent about the threats asbestos poses. Although employers bear the lion's share of responsibility for being vigilant about asbestos exposure, cancer experts agree workers should:
- Wear protective equipment provided by their employer
- Follow the recommended best practices and safety procedures
- Bring any safety concerns about asbestos directly to their employer
- If necessary, contact the Nevada office of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency responsible for safety regulations in most workplaces, for assistance.
If you have questions about asbestos exposure in the workplace, or fear you already are suffering from the symptoms of lung cancer or mesothelioma, call the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys, Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476.
When it comes to asbestos -- in this way and in this way only -- you will be "in the clear" because you will have Nevada's most experienced and skilled advocates at your side.