Some professions are more at risk of exposure to asbestos than others. Builders, plumbers, shipyard workers and those employed in the construction industry are just some of the professionals most likely to encounter asbestos within their working life.
There are, however, some who experience asbestos exposure due not to their working environment but through secondary exposure, via a friend or family member.
How does secondary exposure to asbestos occur?
Before the dangers of asbestos were fully realised, many UK workers regularly came into contact with materials containing the substance as asbestos dust and fibres were released into the atmosphere around them, settling onto clothing.
Labourers would then return home to their families in work garments, unaware of the danger to health this posed.
Women and secondary asbestos exposure
Historically, men formed the majority of the industrial workforce and so women, and their children, faced an increased risk of developing an asbestos disease due to secondary exposure.
Some of the situations in which a person may suffer secondary exposure include:
Physical contact – hugging or being in close proximity of someone with asbestos fibres on their clothing.
Laundry sorting – handling contaminated work clothes may result in inhalation of asbestos dust.
Furniture and household items – asbestos fibres may transfer from a person's work garments to furniture, rug, carpets or linens and pose a further hazard to health.
Thankfully, there is now far greater awareness surrounding the dangers of asbestos and strict rules and regulations are in place for workers; protecting both their health and the health of those they come into contact with.
The use of asbestos was banned in the UK on August 24th 1999. As a result, the risk of secondary exposure has decreased since this time; however, instances could still occur.
Claiming for secondary exposure to asbestos
Those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, due to secondary exposure to the substance, may feel unsure as to where to direct an asbestos illness compensation claim.
Our asbestos claim solicitors offer a wealth of collective experience in dealing with asbestos disease claims, both primary and secondary, and can assist you with legal advice and representation should you wish to pursue compensation.
Call us today on 0800 508 8747 or contact us here to discuss your claim further.