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Are Steel Mill Workers at Risk of Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Pittsburgh Personal Injury LawyerWorking in an industrial setting can be dangerous. Due to the presence of large, fast-moving machinery, materials heated to extremely high temperatures, and a variety of other dangers, steel mill workers may be at risk of serious injuries in workplace accidents. However, even when the proper safety procedures are followed to prevent these types of accidents, workers may also be at risk of harm due to exposure to toxic substances. Asbestos is one substance that continues to affect workers in steel mills and similar settings, and those who have been exposed to this substance may contract a dangerous form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

Causes of Asbestos Exposure in Steel Mills

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was a widely-used substance. Because it provides good insulation against heat and fire, it was often used in industrial settings, as well as building materials and other products. Once the dangers of asbestos became well-known, it stopped being used in many products. However, facilities that were built before these changes were made may still contain asbestos, putting workers at risk of harm.

There are multiple sources of potential asbestos exposure in steel mills. Some facilities may contain construction materials that were manufactured using asbestos, including cement and floor or ceiling tiles. Asbestos may have been used as insulation for furnaces, boilers, or pipes. A number of machine parts may have contained asbestos, including brake pads on cranes or other pieces of equipment, as well as valves, pumps, and other machine parts. Any products containing asbestos may put workers at risk of exposure, and a person may inhale asbestos fibers in the air or absorb them through their skin. A person’s family members may also be exposed to asbestos fibers that accumulate on their clothing.

Mesothelioma Caused by Inhalation or Exposure to Asbestos

People who are exposed to asbestos may develop a serious form of cancer known as mesothelioma. This disease affects the lining surrounding the lungs and other internal organs. As asbestos fibers lodge in this lining, this may cause irritation, and tumors may form, causing fluid to build up in the lungs and chest and affecting a person’s ability to breathe properly. 

Symptoms of mesothelioma will often include chest pain and difficulty breathing. When tumors form, this may also lead to additional complications, such as difficulty swallowing or compression of nerves in the spinal cord or other parts of the body. Mesothelioma is usually incurable, although treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may slow or stop the spread of cancer. Unfortunately, mesothelioma may not develop until multiple years or decades after a person was exposed to asbestos. It can be difficult to diagnose, and a person may not be able to receive treatment until after the cancer has already spread and affected multiple parts of their body.

Contact Our Pittsburgh Asbestos Exposure Attorneys

If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, Colianni & Colianni, LLC can help you determine your legal options. We will work with you to determine whether working in a steel mill put you at risk of asbestos exposure, and we will help you take legal action against a company that allowed you to be harmed by this dangerous substance. Contact our Allegheny County mesothelioma injury lawyers today at 412-680-7877 to set up a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region3/08082016

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20684435/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375022

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