Emergency work is defined by occupational hazards and emergency workers never know what conditions they will be required to work in as they work to save and protect other peoples’ lives. Exposure to dangerous and toxic substances is common among firefighters, police officers and EMTs but many emergency workers may be unaware of the amount of contact that they have with asbestos because the symptoms of asbestos related illnesses can take decades to show themselves. Unfortunately, the men and women who work so hard to save lives may also be putting their families at risk by carrying asbestos particles home with them.
Police work may require officers to enter old or abandoned warehouses, factories and homes that expose them to many airborne hazards, including asbestos. Abandoned structures made before the 1980s may contain high amounts of asbestos in degrading ceilings, insulation and roofing products. Fibers and dust in the air are undetectable and police officers may inhale them without ever knowing it. Inhalation of asbestos repeatedly over a long period of time can lead to mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer that affects the lining around major internal organs.
EMTs are required to be prepared for exposure to biohazards and toxins that are carried by the people who they administer medical care to on the way to the hospital. Patients who have been exposed to asbestos while inside a burning building or who have been injured on a construction site may carry the dust on their clothing, hair or skin. The amount of exposure that an EMT will have to asbestos in a lifetime of work will always remain unknown because they will never be aware that they are breathing the substance in. Years later, they may develop medical conditions that are related to asbestos exposure that occurred on the job.
Firefighting is the profession that carries the highest risk of direct asbestos exposure. Firemen enter burning buildings with masks and oxygen that are designed to allow them to breathe in an environment that is filled with hazards such as smoke, fumes, asbestos and other chemicals that may cause respiratory problems. As a result, it is not very surprising that firefighters develop respiratory diseases at a higher rate than those in any other profession. Those who are exposed to asbestos inside a burning building may not inhale it directly because of the breathing protection they are afforded, but if the asbestos contaminates their clothing, hair or skin, they may inhale the dust later on after they have exited the building.
Contact with Family Members
The family of an emergency is at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma if the worker unknowingly carries asbestos fibers home on his or her clothing or in his or her hair. The material can spread to other areas of the emergency worker’s home and family members may inhale it when sitting on furniture it has contaminated. In order to protect their families, emergency workers should always make certain to decontaminate their clothing and bodies before returning home from work.
Mesothelioma Attorneys Who Can Establish Causation In Difficult Cases
Anyone who is diagnosed with medical conditions that are related to asbestos inhalation such as asbestosis or mesothelioma may be entitled to compensation to cover his or her medical bills and time off of work along with any other punitive damages that the court awards. Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyers are experienced taking on clients who have developed medical problems because of asbestos inhalation and we are here to help. To learn more about your rights and what you can expect from your case, contact us to arrange a free consultation.