According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than one million people go to work in the U.S. at a location where they are exposed to high levels of asbestos. So what is asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally occurring and fibrous material that is resistant to heat and flames. Because of this, asbestos has been utilized in various industries and occupations for years. During this time, thousands of workers have developed mesothelioma, which has been directly linked to asbestos.
Asbestos occurs naturally in the environment, causing everyone to breath in minuscule amounts of it every day. Since these fibers can be inhaled, exposure to significant levels of asbestos in the workplace can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing problems. In fact, asbestos can be so hazardous that is has been named a cancer-causing substance. Thus, the most serious health risks stem from individuals who have been exposed to asbestos for long periods of time—especially for older workers who have spent years on the job before the proper precautions to avoid asbestos became known.
A number of health issues can arise from exposure to asbestos including:
- Lung Cancer
- Gastrointestinal Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
It is the responsibility of the OSHA's and other workplace safety agencies to regulate and monitor asbestos exposure on the job. If you believe you have developed an illness that is directly related to asbestos, or you are worried that you have been exposed to asbestos on the job, you may be entitled to file a workers' compensation claim. At Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund, we have more than 50 years of collective experience assisting workers with their workers' compensation claims. Contact our firm today to see how our team of New York workers' comp lawyers may be able to help you!