Asbestos exposure is a very serious experience that may lead to a serious, life-threatening illness — mesothelioma. Its victims face a very difficult road ahead, and certainly deserve full, fair compensation for their suffering and medical expenses. But it is not always simple to determine where asbestos exposure occurred to help identify a liable party.
If you or someone you love recently received a diagnosis of mesothelioma caused by asbestos, you are probably very concerned with finding the source of the asbestos in order to hold the responsible party liable. In some cases, it is not always possible to know with certainty where asbestos exposure occurred, or to collect sufficient evidence to build a strong claim. However, asbestos does not usually cause mesothelioma with only an instance or two of casual exposure. If you can narrow down the source of asbestos you interacted with regularly, you are well on your way to building a strong claim.
Three common sources of asbestos
Part of what makes asbestos so troublesome is that its fibers are very light. If asbestos enters an area and is airborn, it can hang in the air for a long time, making it breathable. Longterm exposure generally occurs one of three ways.
Often, people may not realize they suffer exposure because it takes place in neighborhood exposure sites where those around asbestos may inhale it. This may mean neighborhoods built near factories, or simply those who live in and near a building that contains the material. This is known as neighborhood exposure.
Of course, those who work in factories that use the material or perform installations of asbestos-laden parts can also suffer exposure. This is known as occupational exposure.
Finally, those who live with individuals who experience occupational exposure to asbestos may also suffer paraoccupational exposure. This category includes spouses and children of those who work with asbestos, especially if they handles the workers’ clothing.
Narrowing down the sources of exposure
As you consider the possible sources of exposure that affect you, begin with the most obvious possibilities. Did you ever work, live or study in an environment that contained asbestos? If not, did you ever live near an exposure site? Did anyone around you work or live in an exposure site?
Only you know the full details of your own experience, but it is wise to consult with those around you at various points in your life to see if anyone else suffered similar effects. They may share a source of exposure, or may simply remember a source of exposure that has not occurred to you.
However you proceed, be sure to prepare your claim carefully to ensure that you enjoy all the legal advantages and protections that you deserve.