Many companies throughout Tennessee have exposed workers to asbestos for prolonged periods. Asbestos fibers can get into the lungs and become wedged in the pleura, which is the lining of the lungs, damaging cells until, over time, mesothelioma results.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 80% of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos. It can take 20 to 70 years to develop the disease after being exposed, and the CDC says those diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma survive, on average, about one year.
Who is most at risk?
People who worked with raw minerals or products containing asbestos are most at risk for developing the disease. High-risk occupations include:
- Construction workers
- Power plant workers
- Chemical plant workers
- Shipyard workers
- Auto mechanics
Others remain at risk despite a partial asbestos ban
Asbestos was banned from use as insulation in the 1970s, but it remains a threat in many older buildings. As a result, firefighters, contractors, demolition workers, plumbers and electricians remain at risk for developing mesothelioma. Likewise, owners of older homes and their families are also at considerable risk.
The federal government has resisted calls from public health researchers to issue a complete ban on asbestos. The CDC says that may be why asbestos-related deaths continue among people under the age of 55. The agency says its research shows one in five air samples collected at construction sites exceeds the recommended asbestos limits by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
Seek compensation for mesothelioma
Despite regulatory actions and a decline in asbestos use, the CDC says the number of malignant mesothelioma cases remains high, and deaths have increased, particularly among younger people, despite projections that the mortality rate would decline. If you have developed the disease as a result of negligence by an employer, manufacturer or other parties, an experienced personal injury attorney here in Tennessee can help you recover the compensation you deserve.