The last place that some people may suspect that they will be exposed to asbestos particles is at the office, where there is no need to work with or come in contact with any asbestos laced material. Many of the buildings that office workers spend their days in were constructed before the decline in asbestos use and most workers are unaware of the fact that they are surrounded by the substance. Exposure in an office setting is less common than on a marine vessel, construction site or in a factory or plant, but workers who come in contact with asbestos in office builders are completely oblivious of the problem and precautions are rarely taken to protect them.
Ceiling Tiles and Fixtures
Asbestos was a key component in the production of ceiling tiles before the 1980s and office buildings that were built before that time are likely to still have the same tiles that were originally installed. Electrical wire and circuits also contained asbestos and the act of changing a light is enough to disperse the asbestos fibers in the fixture and the tiles above. Workers may breathe in the dust without knowing that the air is contaminated and health problems such as mesothelioma may result many years later.
Building Repair and Renovation
Older buildings require maintenance and workers do not even need to be in the immediate proximity of construction or repair workers in order to be exposed to the asbestos that they handle. Asbestos can find its way into air ducts and reach workers through the air via the HVAC system. Work on a single section of the building could contaminate the entire building and place everyone inside at risk of varying levels of exposure.
Asbestos in the Walls
Drywall joint compound, plaster and the drywall itself all contain significant amounts of drywall as do bricks, mortar and cement, which are all fundamental to the construction of large office buildings. Workers come and go each day without realizing that they are surrounded by the substance, which becomes brittle and breaks down over time. As buildings age, the concentration of asbestos in the air may increase and building owners are presented with the choice of removing old components that contain asbestos and exposing the building to the substance during the renovation or allowing trace amounts of it to remain in the air.
Continued Exposure over Time
Workers are at a much higher risk of developing health problems if they are exposed to asbestos for a long period of time. Common health concerns that result from asbestos exposure are lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer that affects the linings around the lungs, stomach or heart. The majority of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to high quantities of asbestos over their lifetimes and while it is possible for those who have not inhaled asbestos to develop the illness it is less common.
Unique Aspect Of Office Worker Claim Require Experience Legal Counsel
Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyers is a firm that is dedicated to representing workers who have developed mesothelioma and other illnesses that are related to asbestos inhalation. Because of the long time that it takes for symptoms to develop, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases is different and we understand the law and where it is on your side. We can review your case and investigate the source of your asbestos exposure to determine whether or not you are owed compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Our consultations are free and if you retain us as legal counsel you will never need to pay a fee unless we are able to recover money on your behalf.