Asbestos is a mineral that is commonly found in building materials due to its ability to resist heat and corrosion. It is generally harmless if it is left alone and not consumed or inhaled. Unfortunately, exposure to dust from this substance can cause problems such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, and there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. In fact, asbestos is noted as the only known cause of mesothelioma.
Here are a couple of the jobs in Illinois that have the highest rates of asbestos exposure.
Materials containing asbestos are present in many components of an aircraft, especially due to its fire resistance. Fire is a real hazard on airplanes and the presence of asbestos in things such as the wiring has probably saved many lives. However, mechanics pay the price with their exposure to asbestos when they perform maintenance on the aircraft.
The United States banned the use of asbestos in homes in the 1970s. However, older homes being remodeled may still contain this substance in their wall paint, on their ceilings, and even in their insulation if the home predates the 1950s. Remodeling involves tearing down walls, and action that may stir up asbestos dust and cause workers to breathe those lethal particles.
These are only two of the many occupations where workers encounter asbestos. If employees know where their occupational field ranks in terms of asbestos exposure and risk of developing lunch cancer and mesothelioma, the more precautions they can take to protect their health.