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Construction Workers and Asbestos Exposure

While on the job, many construction workers have been exposed to asbestos, a naturally occurring silicate material that is extremely harmful to inhale. Construction is a huge industry, particularly in the United States specifically in Pennsylvania, employing many people. Construction can employ up to 20 percent of a country’s population. Construction workers come into contact with many materials that may contain asbestos. In fact, through most of the 20th century, the construction industry made up 70 percent to 80 percent of asbestos consumption. Breathing in asbestos can lead to asbestos-related diseases and cancers such as mesothelioma.

Construction workers can be exposed to asbestos doing many different things. One main exposure can be from vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring was used in a lot of areas because it is inexpensive and easy to clean. Asbestos was used in vinyl floors because of its low cost and ability to insulate. When working on vinyl flooring, construction workers could easily have been exposed to asbestos, making them more at risk for developing mesothelioma. A recent study shows that vinyl flooring has up to 25 percent chrysotile asbestos.

Bricklayers and masons were at a risk of asbestos exposure as masonry workers mixed asbestos into compounds for blocks, stones and bricks. Drywall workers are also at risk for getting mesothelioma as asbestos was added to drywall products between the 1940s and late 1970s. When workers dealt with the drywall, asbestos fibers were released into the air. Painters were exposed to asbestos from spraying spackling compounds with asbestos in them in places before painting them. Popcorn ceilings also tend to contain asbestos. Tile setters can be exposed to asbestos when removing tiles.

Products that construction workers commonly deal with that could contain asbestos include roofing, drywall, flooring, insulation, duct tape, textured paints, insulating cement and more. Workers have been directly exposed to asbestos when installing built-up roofing, asbestos-cement sheets, asbestos-cement pipes and architectural panels. They have also been exposed when removing insulation or roofing felts. Additional exposure occurred when construction workers sprayed asbestos insulation in buildings with multiple stories from 1958-1972.

Although most cases of mesothelioma are from exposure to asbestos decades prior, people today may still be exposed to asbestos. New cases may occur when workers are doing demolition and remediation of structures that contain asbestos.

If you or a loved one is or was a construction worker and was exposed to asbestos and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call the Halpern Law Firm today. With over 30 years of experience and over $100 million won for our clients, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to call us at 800-505-6000 for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7.

Sources:

http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jhss/papers/Vol.%2023%20Issue5/Version-3/H2305035662.pdf

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/4/2073/htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5657894/#R3

Written By Sadie Gold

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