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Mesothelioma is a deadly disease caused by asbestos exposure

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that aggressively attacks the membranes lining the lungs and abdomen. Workers in various industries in California and elsewhere can develop this catastrophic disease through exposure to asbestos. A recent study revealed that there are four industries in which workers are particularly threatened. The study was published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology and identified the industries working with petroleum, chemicals, and rubber, along with the automotive repair and construction industries, as those posing the biggest threat.

Construction workers typically work in buildings in which asbestos already exist, and sometimes, surprisingly, they have to install new asbestos products in new buildings. When workers in the automotive repair industry work on engines, brakes or transmission components of vehicles, asbestos dust is created. Raw asbestos is used in some manufacturing plants, and asbestos-insulated machinery, gaskets, and construction materials may affect those in the chemical, rubber, and petroleum industries.

Despite the known hazard, products containing asbestos are continually manufactured and imported into the United States. The Environmental Working Group says the raw asbestos that has come through U.S. ports over the past 10 years exceeds 8 million pounds, excluding manufactured products containing asbestos. According to recent analysis, an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 asbestos-related deaths occur in the U.S. every year. It was reported that even one incident of asbestos exposure could lead to mesothelioma.

A call was made for the immediate complete ban of asbestos, and although that may reduce the incidents of this catastrophic disease, workers will continue to be exposed to asbestos in older structures. Mesothelioma does not develop instantly, and can take between 15 and 50 years to become evident. Although victims may pursue compensation at any time, proving that a previous employer was responsible may be difficult. Many California workers who have developed occupational diseases choose to utilize the services of experienced attorneys to protect their rights and handle their claims.

Source: mesotheliomahelp.org, "OSHA Sampling Shows Asbestos Air Measures Above Permissible Limits", Brian Eckert, Accessed on June 7, 2015

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