When we think about asbestos exposure, our minds tend to go to the workers involved in the mining of this material or those employed in its crafting or insulation. However, asbestos exposure can reach far beyond those who directly worked with it. When someone comes into contact with asbestos fibers on clothing, furniture, the carpet, the family car, or someone else’s body, they experience secondhand asbestos exposure. This is also referred to as take-home exposure, household exposure, para-occupational, or indirect exposure.
If you are exposed to asbestos despite never personally working with the material, you still face a risk of developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. This can still cause significant harm to your health and have long-term consequences for you and your family. Consulting with an attorney could help you to understand your rights if secondary asbestos exposure has resulted in damage to your health.
Asbestos is a hidden danger in many buildings and pieces of large machinery. Up until the 1980s, it was extensively used for insulation and fire protection in many products and structures. This resulted in many trade workers directly handling the material and, in turn, bringing it home to their families on their clothes, body, and shoes.
Women and children tend to be at the highest risk of indirect asbestos exposure since men made up most of the working class during the time when asbestos was primarily in use. Asbestos fibers can contaminate clothing, couch cushions, carpets, chairs, bedding, and other furniture. Anyone in the home risks encountering these fibers and breathing them in. Doing laundry, using contaminated furniture, and hugging someone with asbestos on their clothing are some of the behaviors with the greatest risk for secondhand exposure.
Each state has its own laws concerning take-home exposure, so it is best to consult with a seasoned attorney before taking legal action. Determining liability can be especially tricky in these cases, so having a skilled professional in your corner is crucial.
Workers who directly handle asbestos are not the only people who may face the consequences of exposure to this dangerous material. Working on a job site that uses it may bring dangerous fibers into your home or other locations.
Victims of take-home asbestos exposure can seek compensation for their medical care and other losses. If you suspect that a loved one’s direct contact with asbestos caused secondary serious harm to you or your family, do not wait to take legal action. Contact a lawyer today to hear more about your legal rights concerning secondhand asbestos exposure.