42 Years - A Professional Law Corporation - Helping Asbestos Victims Since 1974

occupational asbestos exposure

Occupational Asbestos Exposure Rampant in Developing Countries

occupational asbestos exposure The world grows smaller as more countries begin to interact with one another. One troublesome trend has emerged, though – wealthier nations continue to take advantage of developing nations by using cheap overseas labor to manufacture their goods. Such an imbalance of power often comes at the cost of the safety of the international workers. When employed by irresponsible companies, these individuals can face several hazards, including occupational asbestos exposure.

Recent stories from Asia remind us of the plight of these workers, as well as a consumer’s capacity to bring about positive change.

Bangladesh garment industry serves as poignant example

The most recent incident of injustice against laborers occurred in Bangladesh this past April. During the last week of the month, a multistory building in the suburb of Savar that housed garment industry workers collapsed, killing 1,127 individuals. Government investigations revealed several factors leading to the collapse. The foundation was unfit for construction because it was swampy, building materials were shoddy and operating machinery vibrated at a high rate, as reported by the Associated Press.

Adding insult to injury was the fact that the average factory worker was paid $38 a month by a $20 billion per year industry.

It’s incidents like these that remind us of why workers need someone to speak up for them. Kazan Law helps people who are dealing with mesothelioma and other diseases caused by occupational asbestos exposure. We take unscrupulous parties to court, and we advocate for better workplace safety

Unfortunately, the economic and government systems of certain countries still don’t allow that opportunity.

Occupational Asbestos Exposure: Indian Workers Deal with Sickness

One recent study, published in the Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, discussed the interviews that researchers conducted among the former workers of a factory that manufactured asbestos sheets and cement before closing in 1983. Several of these workers had asbestosis or other respiratory problems.

Based on the interviews, the researchers learned that the company didn’t provide adequate protection. To make matters worse, workers weren’t well aware of the risks. This was partly due to the long latency periods of asbestos-induced diseases, coupled with the economic factors that pressured workers to take these jobs in the first place.

The researchers concluded that more programs regulated by independent government bodies are needed to educate workers about their rights and the health hazards of asbestos. Rehabilitation programs that emphasize palliative care are also needed in India.

However, the best solution is an outright ban on the asbestos trade, the researchers said. Such a policy may be a long time coming because of the power of the asbestos lobby. One of the proponents’ arguments to continue the use of the mineral is the idea that if science makes the health risks of occupational asbestos exposure clear, governments should be knowledgeable about how to adequately protect workers. Unfortunately, as has become apparent, the governments of developing nations rarely enforce such policies.

Overall, about 125 million people all over the planet are exposed to asbestos in the workplace. So what can concerned consumers do? After the Bangladesh building collapse, several clothing companies made it a point to stop doing business with irresponsible companies.

Perhaps we can take a lesson from this and apply it to trading partners who don’t protect their workers from occupational asbestos exposure. As a consumer, you have a voice. If any of the companies that you patronize have overseas factories, let them know that you’re concerned about the health and safety of their workers, and that you’ll stop giving them your business if they don’t protect their employees from hazards which include occupational asbestos exposure.

Urinary Tumors May Be Linked to Occupational Asbestos Exposure

A recent Italian study has discussed links between occupational asbestos exposure and the increasing prevalence of urinary tumors, particularly in the kidney and bladder. Researchers from the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center at the Ramazzini Institute, along with support from the Bentivoglio Hospital and University of Bologna, published their report titled, “Urinary apparatus tumors and asbestos: The Ramazzini Institute caseload” in the journal Archivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia.

Asbestos and urinary tumors
The team of investigators began their work by expanding on previous studies that examined the relationship between occupational asbestos exposure and urinary tumors. Past evidence has suggested that after workers have been exposed to industrial agents, these products can linger and transform in the body for some time – eventually being expelled via the urinary tract. The Ramazzini Institute examined 23 cases of patients with urinary tumors who were also exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

The study notes that the body primarily flushes out toxic and carcinogenic agents through the renal system. As a result, the kidney and bladder can be exposed to carcinogenic products such as asbestos, which can cause tumors to develop over time. In fact, asbestos fibers have been found in the urine of many at-risk populations – such as factory workers and miners – reinforcing the notion that urinary apparatus tumors can be caused by this hazardous material.

How asbestos enters the renal system
Asbestos can enter the renal system in a number of ways. Urine found with traces of this carcinogen can be traced back to the transfer of asbestos fibers from the gastrointestinal wall and into the circulatory system, transporting them to the urinary tract. People who may have consumed water contaminated with asbestos fibers are also at risk of developing tumors.

The inhalation of asbestos may also lead to urinary tumors. Scientists have suggested that asbestos in the lungs can pass eventually reach the bloodstream. Once in the blood, these asbestos particles can work their way toward the kidneys and liver.

It is plausible that asbestos exposure may play a role in the development of bladder, bile duct, renal cancers and other malignancies, and the research is continuing. However, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), at present there is sufficient medical evidence to state that asbestos caused cancers include only mesothelioma, lung cancer, cancer of the larynx and the ovaries. Therefore, we do not currently recommend litigation in the U.S. for bladder cancers, but constantly review our position as new evidence emerges.

Statistics on asbestos exposure
According to the World Health Organization, asbestos is comprised a group of mineral fibers that can be mined from the ground. While they’ve been used in a variety of industrial products due to their strength and heat resistance – particularly in building insulation and brake pads – asbestos can easily cause cancerous conditions in humans. The most common asbestos-related diseases include mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural plaques.

Approximately 125 million people around the globe have been exposed to asbestos through their occupations. The WHO estimates that more than 107,000 people die every year from lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis as a result. Additionally, one-third of cases of occupational cancer can be linked to asbestos exposure in some form.

While more than 50 countries have completely banned the use of asbestos in order to protect workers, the U.S. is one of the few nations that has decided to tightly regulate this material instead. By completely banning the use of asbestos in occupational environments, the U.S. can join international efforts to reduce the harmful impact of exposure to this material.

Get a Free Case Evaluation
The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.