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The dangers of asbestos in the workplace

California workers may benefit from learning more about the dangers asbestos exposure can present at the workplace. The microscopic particles that make up asbestos are easily inhaled and cause asbestosis, an inflammatory condition in the lungs that may lead to scaring, coughing and shortness of breath. The primary symptom of asbestos exposure is shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include tightness in the chest, loss of appetite, chest pain, persistent cough accompanied by mucus or a dry cough accompanied by sounds from the lungs.

Exposure to asbestos may also cause lung cancer or other similar problems. Researchers have discovered an association between asbestos and cancer located in the bladder, brain, kidney, throat and gastrointestinal tract. Even though federal regulations have minimized its use in recent years, asbestos can still be found in many household items and within many commercial buildings.

Many of the asbestos poisoning cases are incidents that occur at the workplace. People who share households with workers exposed to asbestos may face an increased risk of developing poor health as well. Asbestos is often taken back into the house as it clings to hair, skin and clothing quite easily. The severity of the adverse health effects often depends on the composition of the fibers, any predispositions to lung diseases, the duration of the exposure and magnitude of the exposure.

Employees who have suffered workplace injuries often benefit from consulting a lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to provide assistance to help ensure injured workers are able to obtain the appropriate wage benefits and medical coverage provided by workers' compensation. Lawyers may be able to investigate the incident and determine if any non-employer third parties could be held liable for the ensuing damages as well.

Source: Web MD, "Asbestos Exposure", November 11, 2014

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