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Who is Most Likely to Be a Victim of Asbestos Exposure?

asbestos exposureAsbestos exposure can happen to anyone. Contrary to common perceptions, asbestos exposure cuts across all socio-economic lines and occupations. A retired judge in New Jersey recently claimed that asbestos exposure in the courthouse where he presided caused him to develop cancer.

Amos Saunders, 80, said he was a victim of asbestos exposure throughout his 23 years as a judge in a Passaic County courthouse and that exposure led to his developing adenocarcinoma, according to The New Jersey Law Journal.

Saunders is suing Passaic County and two companies who performed asbestos removal work at the courthouse in the 1980s.

Why is Asbestos Exposure Dangerous?

People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes, according to the National Cancer Institute. When older homes or commercial buildings or products containing asbestos are dismantled or renovated, tiny asbestos fibers can get released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there. They cause scarring and inflammation, which eventually interferes with breathing and can trigger lethal cancers such as mesothelioma.

Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer Studies.

Who is Most Likely to Be a Victim of Asbestos Exposure?

People who have worked in certain occupations, such as construction workers, electricians, firefighters, car part production and car mechanics and those who served in the military, are at risk for the effects of asbestos exposure. So are members of their families who were exposed to the asbestos dust these workers unknowingly brought into the home on their clothes and tools.

But asbestos knows no occupation status or tax bracket. Even England’s Prince William and his family had to quickly move out of Kensington Palace during the removal asbestos discovered during repairs to their renowned ancestral home.

Palaces, courthouses and office buildings can be sources of asbestos exposure as much as shipyards and automobile plants. Unfortunately, because of many businesses prizing profits above people’s safety, we are all at risk for asbestos exposure. It is everyone’s problem.

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