Asbestos exposure — who is most at risk?

Unless working in certain industries, chances are that most people in South Carolina do not give much thought to encountering asbestos during their daily lives. However, asbestos exposure is much more common than one might think. Regular, low-level exposure can happen to anyone.

Virtually everyone ends up being exposed to asbestos. As unfortunate as it is, there are often low levels of this toxic substance in water, soil and air. Millions of people in America have suffered asbestos exposure since as far back as the 1940s. Research has shown that there is no such thing as a safe amount of asbestos for humans. Investigators have discovered many cases of asbestos-related illnesses in people who suffered only brief exposure.

Still, those who are exposed to asbestos most frequently and in larger amounts are generally more likely to develop related diseases such as mesothelioma. This exposure is usually the result of working in industries that use asbestos, such as car mechanics who frequently work with brakes. Firefighters in South Carolina are also at risk for asbestos exposure when they enter burning buildings that contain asbestos. Evidence has even shown that family members can also face heavy asbestos exposure when workers return home with asbestos fibers on their clothing, shoes, skin and hair.

No one is truly safe from asbestos. Symptoms of diseases related to asbestos exposure usually do not surface until 10 to 40 years down the line. If a person chooses to pursue compensation for his or her pain and suffering, emotional trauma and financial damages, it can be difficult to demonstrate who was responsible for the exposure that led to the illness. Documenting instances of known exposure can be helpful, but speaking with an experienced attorney may also be useful.

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