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What Is Secondary Asbestos Exposure?

Nichol & Associates, Attorneys at Law March 22, 2022

Nothing can be nerve-racking like being diagnosed with mesothelioma. This is an aggressive form of cancer that is largely untreatable. Mesothelioma develops when an individual is exposed to asbestos – a naturally occurring silicate mineral.

A certain group of workers is at a greater risk of asbestos exposure. Unfortunately, asbestos exposure never ends at work. Sometimes, a worker can bring asbestos fibers home thus exposing their loved ones to this substance. This is known as secondary asbestos exposure.

Common Ways Secondary Exposure to Asbestos Happens

Secondary exposure happens when asbestos fibers that are stuck on the worker’s clothes, skin or hair are shed at home or in the car, where their family members become exposed to it. Potential points of secondary exposure include:

  • A worker whose clothes, skin or hair is contaminated with asbestos sheds the fibers in the car while driving. Anyone who comes into contact with the car becomes at risk of exposure.

  • Asbestos fibers can be deposited on furniture thus other individuals sharing the living space become exposed.

  • Washing or handling contaminated clothing

  • Personal contact such as touching or hugging an individual whose skin, hair or clothing is contaminated.

Secondary exposure to asbestos can be just as dangerous and life-threatening as primary exposure. Even a significantly small exposure to the fibers can result in you developing mesothelioma several years down the road. This is why it is important that you figure out how to mitigate the risk of exposure.

Mitigating the Risk of Secondary Exposure to Asbestos

Workers who are at a greater risk of direct exposure to asbestos should be equipped with appropriate tools to ensure proper decontamination. These may include the following:

  • Lockers for keeping their work clothes instead of carrying them home

  • Designated areas for storing home clothes to prevent contamination

  • Shower facilities to wash off any fibers that may have stuck on the worker’s hair or skin

Learning that you have contracted an incurable disease can be devastating. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation when you file a mesothelioma lawsuit.