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Asbestos Exposure: Who is at Risk?

Posted on June 19, 2014 in
Duncan Law Group


Our Chicago mesothelioma attorneys continue to see cases on the rise, and would like to inform the public to who is commonly at risk. Asbestos particles can lead to mesothelioma (cancer in the lining of the lungs) and other serious health concerns. Mesothelioma is a lethal form of cancer usually caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos particles. However, cancer may not develop for many years after exposure to the hazardous material.

Exposure to asbestos particles does not always lead to cancer. In fact, experts believe that most people encounter asbestos at some point in their lives. People who sustain continued exposure to asbestos particle are more likely to develop serious – even lethal – complications. At-risk persons include:

  • Construction Workers
  • Rescue & Recovery Workers
  • Maintenance Workers

People who handle maintenance or construction in older buildings are at a higher risk of exposure. Although asbestos is no longer legal in new construction, it can still be present in buildings constructed before 1989, the year that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) issued a final rule to ban most products
that contain asbestos. Before this time, builders used many products that contained asbestos.

Sources of Asbestos

Common sources of asbestos include:



    • Shingles & Roof Felt


    • Wall Insulation (Especially Loose)


    • Roof Gutters (If Cement)


    • Sheeting Under Decks


    • Pipe/ Furnace / Boiler Insulation



    • Gypsum Board Filling Compound


    • Outlets / Switches


    • Flooring (Vinyl, Tile, Linoleum)


    • Stucco & Cement


    • Lead-Based Paint



Before the EPA understood the serious health concerns associated with asbestos, homes were constructed with asbestos products too. These include lead-based paints, cement, flooring, tiles, and more. Although construction and maintenance workers are most likely to suffer severe exposure, families living in older homes may be at risk as well, especially young children.

According to medical professionals, infants and young children are more  likely to develop health complications associated with asbestos exposure.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Asbestos

Common signs and symptoms of asbestos over exposure are:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Coughing Mucus
  • Chest Pain / Tightness

If you believe that you or someone you love was exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos, you may have the right to seek financial compensation for medical expenses and other losses. Mesothelioma may take many years to develop, but a skilled personal injury attorney can help you hold the negligent party responsible for your suffering. For a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case, contact our office today.