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Asbestos: still a widespread occupational health hazard

When deadlines and other priorities cause employers in Louisville to ignore occupational safety, they put their employees at a higher risk of being injured or developing an illness. One of the hazards that will naturally be overlooked is asbestos exposure.

It should be remembered that despite an asbestos ban in over 60 countries, the U.S. has not banned all asbestos use. In fact, the amount of asbestos imported in 2018 quadrupled from the previous year. Asbestos is a natural mineral often used in roofing, insulation, tiles and other building materials because of its durability and ability to resist heat and chemicals. Asbestos use in home building ceased in the 1970s but is still a part of commercial construction. Each year, over 125 million Americans are exposed to the mineral.

Construction workers are at a high risk for exposure. They may inhale it while demolishing or remodeling a home made before the 1970s, for example. Workers in other industries, such as the manufacturing and auto repair industry, may be exposed to it through the more than 3,000 products that, up to 1988, contained the mineral. In that year, a law was passed requiring manufacturers to report asbestos production and use to the EPA.

Asbestos exposure leads to fatal diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis. Those who develop such a condition and who believe that they are eligible for compensatory damages may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer. It may be, for instance, that a victim's employer failed to take the appropriate measures against asbestos exposure.

After investigators gather all the available proof against the defendant, the lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement covering medical costs, lost wages and whatever else is applicable. If the other side refuses to pay out, victims may decide to take the case to court.

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