Asbestos was used in nearly every form of construction before 1980. Due to asbestos’ ability to resist immense amounts of heat, it could be used in bricks so they wouldn’t crack despite exposure to extremely high temperatures, and would prevent mortar from damage. Asbestos was also used in concrete and electrical insulation. When these materials are sawed, cut or grinded down, the asbestos fibers are released into the air and pose serious danger to workers (including bricklayers) in the area.
Effects of Asbestos in the Body
When asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are damaged, they release microscopic asbestos fibers into the air. These fibers can then be inhaled into the lungs and spread throughout a person’s body. Asbestos fibers cause irreversible damage to lungs in the body, and can specifically damage the alveoli in your lungs – the sack-like cells in your body which are responsible for exchanging air and carbon dioxide. As these cells become damaged, the lungs begin to harden and it becomes more difficult to breathe which leads to a disease called “asbestosis.”
Decades after exposure to asbestos, the cells that have become damaged can also leak toxins. These toxins form in a process called “programmed cell necrosis” and can lead to tumors forming in the lungs. This specific form of cancer is called “mesothelioma.”
Preventing asbestos exposure should be top priority for construction workers and their employers when repairing or working with older buildings. Asbestos inspection and abatement is the only responsible way to know if a work area is free of asbestos, although some companies look past this issue and workers eventually become severely ill as a result.
After Asbestos Exposure
Options exist for bricklayers who have been exposed to asbestos. Your largest concern should be your health after being exposed to asbestos. Talk regularly with your doctor, and keep any documentation and records of damages you’ve sustained like medical treatments, bills, time off work, and make sure to keep a journal of your process.
It would be wise to consult with an experienced asbestos injury lawyer as soon as you can. Consults with asbestos injury lawyers are free. The attorneys will investigate your claim and can help you understand who is responsible for your injuries and what options you have in terms of compensation. For example, many manufacturers have created trust funds that provide compensation to people who’ve been exposed to asbestos from their older asbestos-containing products. Another option could be that you gain compensation through workers comp, or perhaps third party was negligent by not informing you or your employers about asbestos when they had reasonable suspicion to do so. Only a trusted asbestos injury lawyer can accurately answer these questions.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after working as a bricklayer in the past, please contact one of the asbestos injury lawyers in this directory for a free claim evaluation.