Other Hazardous Jobsites
While asbestos and the diseases it can cause are most often related to the shipbuilding industry and chemical plants, there are still several other jobs that can put people in danger of contracting diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. Because asbestos was commonly used for the majority of the 20th century and was constantly applauded for its heat-resistance, several industries found it a highly effective and useful mineral. It is now a product that has undergone government regulations due to the harmful effects caused by asbestos exposure.
For decades, high asbestos exposure levels were an everyday occurrence for most construction and industrial workers and rarely, if ever, given a second thought. However, in the first half of the 1900s, asbestos companies and users of the material hid the dangers of contact with it. Therefore exposure was not viewed as a problem. Later, as information came out that asbestos fibers could cause serious or fatal diseases, workers began to question why they and their colleagues were contracting the diseases, as well as why they had not been warned by their employers.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station in New York is one of the most famous railway stations in the world. It is highly decorated, with stores and several platforms. However, in its early days, underneath all of the decoration and tiling, Grand Central Station was full of asbestos. During the construction of Grand Central Station, asbestos was used extensively and remained for several decades. As renovations were made over the decades, workers, and possibly passengers, were constantly exposed to asbestos dust. However being inside buildings constructed with asbestos materials is not the only way people can be exposed to it.
Other Hazardous Locations
Wars, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, floods, and other natural disasters can all destroy buildings. Not every building that has asbestos has been abated. In the event of wars and natural disasters, buildings are often destroyed. If the building contains asbestos, the aftermath of the destruction is a cloud of asbestos dust spreading over the area. Any survivors will likely become exposed to the asbestos, as well as any relief workers who are coming to rebuild or repair the area.
Asbestos is a small fiber that once inhaled becomes embedded in the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Once embedded in the body, asbestos can lay dormant for years, even decades. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen, and is the primary cause of various cancers including mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a disease that most frequently impacts the pleural lining of the lungs and chest cavity. This disease has a long latency period and is often not diagnosed until the later stages of cancer. Awareness of asbestos exposure remains an important element of early detection and a major determinant in a patient’s life expectancy.