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Take Home Asbestos Exposure

Take Home Asbestos Exposure

The traditional image of a mesothelioma victim isn’t a mother of young children or a man just entering his prime, but rather a retired auto worker or Navy veteran who was exposed to high doses of asbestos throughout his career. Unfortunately, more and more people who do not fit the stereotype are being diagnosed with mesothelioma. While they may not have been exposed to asbestos through their job, they are the sons, daughters and spouses of people who unknowingly brought asbestos home with them after work.

What is take-home asbestos exposure?

Second-hand, or take-home, exposure to asbestos is one of the leading causes of mesothelioma in those who do not work in an asbestos-related occupation. It happens when someone who works in close proximity to asbestos carries the deadly fiber home with them after work. Asbestos can be carried on everything from clothing and shoes to skin and hair.

When this asbestos is taken home, it can be inhaled by family members who hug the carrier or wash his clothes. The cancer-causing fibers can even be inhaled by children who spend time playing around contaminated clothes in the laundry room. Today, doctors are seeing a surprising shift in the demographics of mesothelioma victims toward middle-aged adults and older women who were exposed to asbestos decades earlier through a family member.

What if I’ve been exposed to take-home asbestos?

Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos should discuss their exposure with their doctor at their next appointment. Because mesothelioma is a rare disease that shares symptoms with many common ailments, it is often difficult to diagnose. If you start exhibiting symptoms of mesothelioma and your doctor knows you’ve been exposed to take-home asbestos, he may have a much easier time diagnosing your illness.

What can I do to make sure my family members are not exposed to asbestos?

If you believe that your workplace may contain asbestos, you can protect your family members from take-home asbestos exposure by taking two simple steps:

1. Isolate your work clothes. If you can, change out of your work clothes before you get home. Keep all contaminated articles of clothing in their own sealed laundry bag before washing them.
2. Wash up. Even after you change out of your work clothes, you could still carry asbestos on your skin and hair. Protect your family members by taking a shower either at work or as soon as you get home, before you touch anyone.

Take-home asbestos exposure is too often a tragic consequence of corporate irresponsibility. By working together to ban asbestos and raise awareness of mesothelioma, however, we can start reducing instances of take-home asbestos exposure.

By: Simmons Law Firm

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