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Can spouses be affected by asbestos exposure?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2019 | Asbestos |

Asbestos is a highly toxic material that has a high resistance to heat. It was a very popular material that was used widely in the construction industry in the United States for decades. It wasn’t until the material was discovered to be very dangerous in the 1960s when its use was stopped.

The wide usage of asbestos in buildings in the first half of the 20th century has meant that many construction workers were exposed to the material. Since it can still exist in buildings today, it is possible for workers to be exposed if they are not using adequate protection.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to many cancers. When asbestos dust is inhaled into the lungs, it can cause health problems years down the line. While typically men were negatively affected by asbestos exposure because of their work in the construction industry, it is possible for their spouses to become affected, too. This is because secondary exposure to asbestos is very common.

How does secondary exposure to asbestos occur?

Secondary exposure to asbestos can occur in many different ways, and it is equally as dangerous as primary exposure. Construction industry workers who have been exposed to asbestos may bring their clothes home. These clothes may have asbestos on them, and when their spouse comes into contact with this clothing, they can be exposed to the toxic mineral.

What are the consequences of secondary asbestos exposure?

Mesothelioma is, unfortunately, a possible outcome of secondary asbestos exposure. Such an outcome is more likely if the person was exposed to asbestos repeatedly for a long period of time. If you are suffering from mesothelioma and you believe that secondary asbestos exposure was the cause, you may have the ability to make a legal claim against your spouse’s employer.

Can I be successful in a legal claim if my exposure was not direct?

Holding an employer in Seattle responsible for secondary exposure of asbestos can be challenging. However, if you can prove that your spouse was exposed to asbestos in the workplace and that you gained secondary exposure through unlaundered clothing, you may be successful. A medical analysis of your mesothelioma diagnosis may also help your claim.

By making a claim, you may be able to gain damages to help you treat your asbestos-related health condition.