Construction workers and asbestos

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2019 | Asbestos |

At Wylder Corwin Kelly LLP in Illinois, our main focus is assisting people suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure. We, therefore, know that as a construction worker, you face a strong likelihood that your job forces you to inhale microscopic asbestos fibers every day.

The National Cancer Institute reports that many of the materials and products you constantly work with contain asbestos, and the saws, sanders, drills, screwdrivers and other abrasive tools and equipment you use on them causes the asbestos to break down, filling the air you breathe with microscopic fibers that you cannot help but inhale. These fibers become embedded in your lungs and build up day by day, week by week, year by year, scarring your lungs in the process. The result is asbestosis, a serious, incurable and debilitating lung condition.

Asbestosis symptoms

Unfortunately, asbestosis is often difficult to diagnose because its symptoms mimic those of other diseases and conditions. In addition, asbestosis is progressive in nature. By the time you notice any symptoms, 15-20 years could have elapsed since your initial asbestos exposure and you may have already lost up to 25% of your lung capacity. Classic asbestosis symptoms include the following.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Frequent heavy coughing, including coughing up blood
  • Sudden high fevers registering over 101 degrees on a thermometer
  • Unexplained weight loss

Construction workers most at risk

Since asbestos fibers are invisible and lighter than air, no construction worker is immune from inhaling them. They disperse throughout your various work sites, both indoors and out, on the smallest of breezes and air currents. That being said, however, you face the highest risk of developing asbestosis if you work as one of the following:

  • Roofer
  • Electrician or plumber
  • Painter
  • Stonemason or bricklayer
  • Drywall installer or plasterer
  • Floor and/or wall tile installer

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