What should I know about asbestos work hazards?

The term "asbestos" is the commercial name that defines six different kinds of fibrous minerals. These minerals are extremely useful in industrial and commercial applications because they are easy to find in nature, they are resistant to thermal and chemical degradation, have a high tensile strength, have fire retardant properties and more.

Unfortunately, however, asbestos minerals are extremely dangerous to humans when inhaled. The fibrous nature of asbestos causes serious problems in the lungs of workers who inhale it. People who are exposed to asbestos on the job can develop deadly diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

It is not merely a theory that asbestos causes deadly diseases; it is a scientifically confirmed fact. Doctors and toxicology experts agree: There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Anyone works in and around the substance must take numerous precautions, including wearing special breathing masks, special clothing and the implementing special ventilation equipment to prevent worker contamination.

In spite of the dangers of asbestos, and in spite of the fact that numerous countries around the world have banned the substance, it is still used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications in the United States today. Furthermore, there are numerous old construction buildings that are full of asbestos because of its former popularity as a fire retardant in walls and insulation. For this reason, construction workers completing jobs in old buildings are particularly at risk for contamination.

If you or your loved one is suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma or lung cancer after having worked in an asbestos contaminated work environment, the situation may warrant the pursuit of a workers' compensation claim. By speaking with a qualified workers' compensation attorney, Maryland residents can determine the best strategy for obtaining the benefits they deserve.

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