Second-hand asbestos exposure is a serious health risk, especially for children and women. Asbestos was often carried home by workers, exposing their families to the hazardous material. If a family member has been exposed to asbestos, they can sue the person who brought it home. This article will discuss the risks and liability of second-hand exposure to asbestos.
Sources of second-hand asbestos exposure
The most common sources of the dangers of second-hand asbestos exposure are clothing and furniture, but it is also possible to become exposed through personal contact. Clothing is a common source of asbestos exposure because asbestos fibers and particles can become embedded in the fibers and be transferred from a contaminated object to another load of clothing or furniture. This can then lead to further exposure in the home or car of a person who has come into contact with the contaminated item.
Asbestos has been known to cause mesothelioma and other serious cancers, and second-hand exposure is one of the most common causes of this disease. Symptoms of this cancer include shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss, and chest pain.
Although most cases of mesothelioma are associated with exposure in the workplace, second-hand exposure can still pose a risk. Asbestos fibers can be carried home by workers’ dirty clothing or by their hair. This could lead to inadvertent exposure to family members. This is what is happening in one family in England.
Second-hand asbestos exposure is especially dangerous for children and women. It takes decades before mesothelioma symptoms start to appear. Because it takes ten to forty years before symptoms appear, it’s important to avoid exposure to asbestos when possible.
Cases of mesothelioma caused by second-hand asbestos exposure
Second-hand asbestos exposure is one of the most common causes of mesothelioma. In Italy, a study of over 1,000 mesothelioma cases found that 35 percent were caused by second-hand exposure. The majority of these cases were caused by exposure to asbestos in shipyards and other industrial workplaces.
Asbestos exposure can cause both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. The more common form is pleural mesothelioma, whereas peritoneal mesothelial mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdominal cavity. Asbestos-related diseases usually have a long latency period, which means that it may take between 10 and 50 years for symptoms to appear.
Liability for second-hand asbestos exposure
Liability for second-hand asbestos exposure cases are often more complex than primary asbestos exposure cases. While workers may be able to identify the products that exposed them to asbestos, people exposed to second-hand exposure may not be able to determine the products that caused their exposure. Fortunately, a few states are beginning to recognize the importance of secondary asbestos exposure lawsuits.
New Jersey was one of the first states to award compensation for second-hand asbestos exposure victims. In 2006, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that a worker’s spouse can hold a company liable for illnesses contracted as a result of second-hand asbestos exposure. This case also extended the duty of care to any family member living with the worker.