Millions of American workers in manufacturing plants and mills have been exposed to asbestos over several decades. Textile workers were among those who regularly swallowed or inhaled the toxic substance.
A new study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says while companies began to phase out asbestos use in the 1980s due to health concerns, textile workers from that period and before are 16 times more likely to suffer from mesothelioma.
How was asbestos involved in textile manufacturing?
During the middle of the 20th-century, commercial and industrial manufacturing soared in the U.S., and asbestos was a prominent ingredient for many industries, including textiles. Workers converted artificial and natural fibers into yarn, which in turn was made into clothing.
The process includes spinning and combing those fibers, knitting, weaving and bonding yards of fabric, as well as dyeing them. Many of these products were made with asbestos. Textile workers handled those items, leading to exposure and risk of mesothelioma.
Research yields disturbing results
The NIOSH study focused on over 3,000 people with textile manufacturing jobs through 1975. While they determined 17 died of mesothelioma, it’s not known how many others may have developed the disease and survived, although chances for long-term survival are low.
What they found is that 16% of those workers eventually contracted mesothelioma. That’s alarming because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) places the overall rate of mesothelioma in the country at about 1%.
Furthermore, a peer-reviewed study published in the monthly journal Cancer Medicine looked at another group of textile workers exposed to asbestos and found 108 of them died, further proving the increased risks to this group of laborers.
Take action for asbestos-related illness
More than 3,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. While companies began phasing out asbestos in the 1970s, the disease typically doesn’t reveal itself until decades after a person was exposed.
If you worked in a textile plant in the 70s or earlier and currently suffer from mesothelioma, contact an experienced attorney who can provide personalized and compassionate attention to your case. Your lawyer will aggressively fight to help you receive the compensation you deserve.