Asbestos–the carcinogenic mineral used in residential and commercial building projects in New York through the 1980s–may sound like a thing of the past, but if you are a construction worker, asbestos exposure is still very much of concern. Many construction workers worry that they are destined to be exposed to this toxic substance and experience serious asbestos related diseases down the line like lung cancer or mesothelioma. I will give you the latest information below, and address when a Buttafuoco & Associates asbestos lawyer in New York could be useful to you.
The History of Asbestos in Construction
From the 1920s through the 1980s, asbestos was a booming industry in the U.S.. In fact, it was one of the most popular building materials available. Asbestos worked well for insulation, was fire resistant, and was easy to work with. Because it is a mineral found in nature, it was also cheap and widely available. Homes, offices, factories, and commercial buildings built during these decades especially in New York all contained some form of asbestos.
Interestingly, health care professionals suspected that asbestos was toxic long before the industry took off. In 1897, a doctor in Austria made the connection between a patient’s dire pulmonary issues and the inhalation of asbestos dust. In 1906, asbestos deaths began to be documented when large amounts of asbestos fibers were found in the lungs of workers who had been exposed.
By the end of the 20th century, asbestos production was phased out due to the health risks, but this didn’t change the fact that this life-threatening material still lurked in the walls of constructions everywhere. Even today, asbestos remains hidden in the walls and roofs of buildings, putting construction workers in danger. Even in structures where asbestos has been removed, airborne fibers may still be present in amounts that can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer when inhaled.
Asbestos and Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, asbestos exposure is among the major causes for developing the rare cancer known as mesothelioma. This rare, aggressive, and difficult-to-treat cancer forms on the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, and other organs. Mesothelioma can lurk in the body for a long time prior to symptoms developing, so even if you were exposed to asbestos long ago, the disease can still show up unexpectedly. Other forms of lung cancer are also connected to asbestos exposure.
Despite this fact, like all industries that must make a profit, construction companies continue to put workers in danger of severe illness and death. OSHA fines construction companies who fail to warn employees of dangers, but the fines are not high enough to truly make an impact. Presently, the best course of action to receive compensation if you have developed an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma is to work with New York law firms.
Should Construction Workers be Worried?
At Buttafuoco & Associates, our asbestos attorneys serving New York are appalled by the number of construction workers who have been harmed by exposure to asbestos and other toxic substances. Construction companies must be held accountable for their negligent behavior, and the best way to ensure that this happens is to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
The fact of the matter is that any construction worker who worked in the asbestos industry between 1920 and 1980 could develop an asbestos-related illness including a mesothelioma diagnosis. In addition, those who worked in construction in New York as insulators, roofers, drywall and flooring installers, plumbers, carpenters, and even electricians could still have been potentially exposed. Asbestos can be found in cabinets, drywall, floor tiles, siding, insulation, roofing, masonry products and more.
Even today, construction sites in New York City tend to have high concentrations of asbestos in the air. This is especially true of new renovation and demolition projects. As soon as you or a co-worker drills into a structure containing asbestos, everyone on your job site is immediately in danger of exposure.
In addition to first hand exposure, construction workers are at high risk for secondary exposure. The fibers are incredibly small, and can stick to clothing, hair, and skin. If you take these fibers home with you, your loved ones can potentially develop asbestos-related illness.
Contact our New York Asbestos Lawyers
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe it was caused by asbestos exposure on a construction site, especially if your employer failed to warn you of potential risks, a New York asbestos lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates may be able to help you receive compensation. Even if your exposure happened years or decades ago, you may still have a case that qualifies for a mesothelioma lawsuit. Our New York law firm has successfully represented many clients whose employers negligently failed to warn them of the dangers they were facing at work, and we will fight for you too.
Get in touch today at 1-800-NOW-HURT.