There is some evidence that family members of workers heavily exposed to asbestos face an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. This risk is thought to result from exposure to asbestos fibers brought into the home on the shoes, clothing, skin, and hair of workers.
How High is the Risk for Cancer?
Not all workers exposed to asbestos will develop diseases related to their exposure. The risk of developing asbestos-related diseases varies with the type of industry in which the exposure occurred and with the extent of the exposure. Asbestos that is bonded into finished products such as walls and tiles poses no risk to health as long as it is not damaged or disturbed in such a way as to release fibers into the air. When asbestos fibers are set free and inhaled, however, exposed individuals are at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
How does smoking affect risk?
Many studies have shown that the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure is particularly hazardous. Smokers who are also exposed to asbestos have a greatly increased risk of lung cancer. However, smoking combined with asbestos exposure does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.
Asbestos diseases are said to follow the trail of exposure. That means that wherever people have received asbestos exposure, regardless of their trade, age, sex or race, they are at risk of cancer and other diseases.
Unfortunately, the effects of asbestos on the human body were known to be deadly for years by the companies who employed the ‘greatest generation’ and made hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars off of their backs. But instead of taking simple steps to alleviate the problem and save the lives of thousands of their workers, they choose to do nothing and continue to make a “healthy” profit with a “deadly” product.
A life-threatening illness is terribly emotional. It has a broad impact and affects many people – family, friends and co-workers.
Many employers even went so far as to hide the truth from their workers and their families. And because the normal latency period for Mesothelioma is 20 to 30 years, many got away with this for years.
We urge you to find out more about Asbestos, and know your legal rights today!