Asbestos was banned by the EPA in 1989, but it can still be found in many buildings in America today. Asbestos is a soft metal that was used in construction materials to provide heat resistance. Almost any time an area needed to be fireproofed or if a metal surface was at risk of warpage, it’s likely that asbestos played a role. For this reason, asbestos can be found in many factories in the USA, particularly in foundries.
There are enough risks to foundry workers on a daily basis, and asbestos exposure shouldn’t be one of them. Nevertheless, many foundry workers have been exposed to asbestos without knowing it.
Asbestos in the Foundations
During foundry construction, asbestos was sprayed on metal surfaces and mixed with other materials. Historically, asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) found in metal casting factories include:
- Steel latches
- Metallic parts that are exposed to extreme heat
When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or erode, microscopic fibers are released into the air. These fibers can then be inhaled and lodged into the lungs where they cause irreversible damage and can lead to mesothelioma over time. Asbestos is particularly dangerous to foundry workers because the symptoms of asbestos exposure may not present themselves until decades after initial exposure.
Suspicion of Asbestos
If you have reasonable suspicion that you work near, or have been exposed to asbestos, inform your supervisor immediately. Once your supervisor has been informed that a worker has been exposed to asbestos, it’s their responsibility to cover medical examinations for workers who may have been exposed and to have asbestos abatement workers investigate the area.
Your main priority is your own health. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, seeking the help of a medical professional and making regular checkups thereafter will provide the most help in mitigating damages. It’s also important to hold onto any documentation that shows how much financial, physical or psychological damage asbestos exposure has caused. This could be in the form of medical bills, lost wages, travel expenses for treatment, etc.
Once you have secured medical treatment, the next big step should be to contact an experienced asbestos injury lawyer. Retaining a seasoned asbestos injury lawyer is your best chance at receiving fair compensation for your injuries. For example, if your employer wasn’t aware that asbestos was on their property, then you may have to seek damages from a third party like the company that manufactured or installed the asbestos-containing materials. The problem is that these companies could be very difficult to track down, may not exist anymore, or will simply try to give you a quick settlement that does not represent your true damages.
An experienced asbestos injury lawyer has the knowledge and resources to track down the people who are responsible for your suffering, and will investigate to their best abilities to uncover the true value of your case. The lawyer you should retain will know that your suffering was preventable and wrong, and won’t hesitate to go to court for your rights to compensation if necessary.