When you make your living working in mining, construction, mining, chemical manufacturing or the automotive industry in Illinois, you face heightened risks of on-the-job asbestos exposure. A substance used in North America since the late 1800s, asbestos is also a known carcinogen. This means science shows a link between asbestos exposure and your chances of developing cancer.
Per Cleveland Clinic, while your work environment plays a large role in determining your risk of asbestos exposure and associated diseases, other factors also contribute to your risk level. What are some of the factors that make you more likely to develop an asbestos-related disease?
The type of asbestos exposure you experience
Some forms of asbestos are more harmful than others. If you work in a setting where asbestos exists in a particular product or material, such as in walls or floor tiles, you face a lower risk of exposure than you would in a setting where asbestos particles are present in the air.
The duration and intensity of your exposure
The longer you undergo exposure to asbestos, the higher your risk of developing mesothelioma, lung cancer or another type of asbestos-related disease. How much asbestos exists in a particular work environment also impacts your exposure and disease risks.
Your health, genetic history and habits
You may face an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease if you have certain genetic predispositions or mutations. Smoking enhances risks. You also face a heightened risk of an asbestos-related illness if you already have lung disease.
Some of the factors that impact your risk of asbestos-related disease are uncontrollable. However, your employer should be able to mitigate risks to some degree by taking precautions and preventative measures to protect you and everyone else in your workforce.