How Does Asbestos Exposure Happen?

Asbestos Danger Sign

Asbestos exposure can occur in lots of different ways and in lots of different settings. Understanding how and where asbestos exposure occurs is very important not only for avoiding this dangerous type of exposure; it’s also important for individuals with a mesothelioma diagnosis or another asbestos-related disease.

Identifying when and how you were exposed to asbestos is essential for identifying who may be liable for your health problems. For instance, when seeking VA benefits for mesothelioma veterans, the former military member must indicate when and how the asbestos exposure occurred as they strive to prove that their disease is a direct result of their military service.

There are also many different asbestos trust funds totaling billions of dollars. Anyone who is seeking mesothelioma compensation or compensation for another asbestos disease is required to cite exactly how the company is liable by explaining how and when they were exposed.

So Where Does Asbestos Exposure Occur?

Asbestos is a natural mineral that’s found in many products, building materials and other items. When it becomes airborne, it can be inhaled or swallowed, resulting in cancer and lung diseases.

Notably, there is no “safe” asbestos exposure limits. Any amount of asbestos exposure can lead to illness, which typically arises 10 to 40 years after the asbestos exposure incident(s). People who’ve been exposed repeatedly are at highest risk of asbestos lung cancer and other diseases.

There are many different sources of asbestos exposure, which can occur on the job, in an industrial setting, during military service or at home. Here is a look at the most common items and scenarios associated with asbestos exposure:

  • House siding
  • Pipe insulation, seals and gaskets
  • Brake pads and brake shoes
  • Auto clutch components
  • Auto gaskets
  • Heat-resistant coatings
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement mix
  • Sheetrock and gypsum board
  • Cement sheeting
  • Vehicle hood lining
  • Loose fill asbestos insulation
  • Spray-on coatings (especially insulating or heat-resistant spray-on coatings)
  • Boilers
  • Shipyards
  • Ship boilers
  • Ship insulation
  • Heat seals
  • Roofing and roof insulation
  • Countertops
  • Soffit boards
  • Sandpaper backing
  • Floor tiles
  • Industrial adhesives
  • Talcum powder
  • Joint compound
  • Printing presses
  • Paper mill drying machines
  • Fire doors and other fire-proofed areas
  • Fire blankets
  • Heat-resistant and fire-resistant clothing
  • Cement flues
  • Asbestos paper (used inside metal cladding, under tiles, etc.)
  • Manufacturing and industrial machinery that generates high temperatures

If you worked around or handled these items on a regular basis, especially in the period prior to 1970 (or on items/structures/vehicles made before the 1970s), then there is a chance that this was the source of your asbestos exposure.

People and Professions With the Highest Risk of Asbestos Exposure

The professions with the highest risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • steel mill and refinery workers
  • military members (especially those in the Navy)
  • shipyard workers
  • auto mechanics
  • carpenters and building contractors
  • automaker plants and car part manufacturing facilities
  • printing press facility staff
  • paper mill staff

Outside of the workplace or an industrial setting, most asbestos exposure incidents occur while working on homes and other structures. Contractors and builders who do lots of renovations, restorations and tear-downs are at the highest risk, but normal homeowners undertaking a DIY project could be exposed too. So if you’re working on a home that was built prior to 1975, it’s wise to research whether it contains asbestos. If you suspect asbestos may be present, it’s important to turn to a professional asbestos abatement team.

Help for People With Asbestos Exposure-Related Diseases

At Mesowatch, our experienced asbestos attorneys will work to help you and your loved ones to get the compensation and benefits that you deserve. From helping you get Social Security benefits and VA benefits for mesothelioma veterans, to providing guidance in getting settlements from an asbestos trust fund, or even filing an asbestos lawsuit, our compassionate and caring team will go the extra mile to ensure you have the funds and benefits you need to live the best possible quality of life.

We understand how scary a mesothelioma diagnosis can be. And even less dire asbestos diseases like asbestosis and COPD can transform your life in some very profound ways. Mesowatch asbestos lawyers and support team will work to help guide you through the process of getting the help you and your family require.