Yes, you can carry asbestos on your clothes. If you worked with asbestos and your company did not provide you with protective equipment and follow appropriate safety procedures, you possibly carried asbestos home from work on your clothes. You may have unintentionally exposed your family members to the carcinogen, and they may have developed mesothelioma or other serious illnesses decades later.
How You May Have Exposed Your Loved Ones to Asbestos
Primary exposure occurs when people are exposed to asbestos directly, for example, by handling construction materials that contain the carcinogen. If building materials are disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibers can be released into the air. Microscopic particles can then attach to clothes, shoes, hair, and skin, and can be transported to other locations.
If you came into contact with asbestos at work and you did not wear personal protective equipment or did not shower and change your clothes before returning home, you may have carried asbestos into the house with you on your clothing and on your body. Your family was possibly exposed if you hugged them when you returned home or if you sat on furniture or walked on carpet.
Asbestos fibers could have lingered in the environment, and members of your family could have suffered exposure to them repeatedly. A relative may have suffered exposure by handling your laundry that was contaminated with asbestos or by riding in your car after you left asbestos fibers in it while driving home from work.
Sequences of events such as these were common until the federal government imposed regulations in the 1970s to limit exposure to asbestos. By the time protections were put in place, however, many people had already come into contact with asbestos at work or via a family member who worked with the substance.
Secondary exposure to asbestos can put people at risk of serious harm. According to the Annals of Translational Medicine (ATM), “Worker take-home asbestos, or para-occupational exposure, has been well documented and is the most commonly reported pathway for asbestos exposure among mesothelioma cases that do not have [a] history of occupational asbestos exposure.”
Health Problems Asbestos Can Cause
Asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that typically affects the lining around the lungs but may also affect other parts of the body. Exposure to asbestos can cause other health problems, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural plaques, and pleural effusion.
Symptoms of mesothelioma usually only begin to appear decades after a person is exposed to asbestos. It is rare for children to develop mesothelioma because the illness has a long latency period.
Mesothelioma may be diagnosed using a variety of tests. A doctor may order one or more imaging tests, such as a chest x-ray, CT scan, MRI, and PET scan, as well as a biopsy, bloodwork, and a lung function test. A physician can determine the stage of mesothelioma by finding out whether it has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body. Cancer that has metastasized is generally difficult to treat.
If mesothelioma is caught early, it may be treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the disease is often diagnosed after it has metastasized, and the survival rate is therefore low.
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How an Attorney May Be Able to Help Your Family
If you or a loved one receives a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may be feeling shocked and overwhelmed. You were possibly told that there is little that doctors can do to treat the illness since it has already spread to other parts of the body. You or your relative may not have much time left to live.
If you worked around asbestos in the past and you, your spouse, your children, or another member of your family developed mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. While that would not change the progression of the illness, it could give your family some peace of mind since you would not have to worry about how to pay the medical bills and cover your regular household expenses.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to identify the source of the asbestos exposure and file a personal injury lawsuit against the party that was liable. If the company declared bankruptcy, we may be able to pursue a financial award from a trust fund set up to compensate mesothelioma victims.
When a person who suffered exposure to asbestos directly later develops mesothelioma, establishing a link is usually straightforward. In a case involving secondary exposure, however, proving that a family member came into contact with asbestos after another person carried it home on his or her clothes may be more difficult.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today for Legal Counsel
Our team can speak to you about where you worked, your duties, how you may have suffered exposure to asbestos, whether you were provided with protective equipment, and whether your employer took other measures to protect you and your family members from asbestos. We can then explain your legal options and help you decide how to proceed.
States have statutes of limitations that allow victims of personal injuries to file lawsuits for a limited amount of time. The sooner you contact us, the sooner our team will be able to get to work. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099.