In 2016, there were more than 1.4 million construction worker jobs in the America, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number continues to grow, with 180,500 additional construction jobs projected between 2016 to 2026. Construction labor is a difficult, physically-challenging job and is considered one of the most dangerous careers for more than the obvious reasons. One reason most people don’t think about is asbestos exposure.
Between the 1960s to 1970s, asbestos use in America peaked for many occupations, including construction workers. Most occupational exposure occurs during the repair, renovation, removal, or maintenance of asbestos-containing products that were installed years ago. The construction workers who complete these tasks on the job are at risk of disturbing the asbestos fibers, releasing them into the air, and inhaling them.
Construction Workers and Asbestos Exposure
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has estimated that 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry are exposed to asbestos on the job. And asbestos is the number 1 cause of occupational cancer (such as mesothelioma) in the United States. The most at-risk construction jobs include:
- Demolition crews
- Drywall installers
- Flooring installers
- Plasterers and cement workers
- Roofers and tile setters
The above construction laborers can come into contact with asbestos in the following products, among others:
- Flintkote tiles
- Keasbey & Mattison asbestos shingle
- National Gypsum Gold Bond asbestos siding and panels
- Ruberoid roofing asphalt
- U.S. Gypsum Company sheetrock texture
- WR Grace & Company zonolite plaster
- And many more
Help for Construction Workers and Their Families
Asbestos exposure has a long latency period – anywhere from 20 to 50 years – so even if you or your loved one has been out of the construction industry for years, a mesothelioma diagnosis is not out of the question. And it doesn’t matter how much asbestos exposure happened: any level of exposure can increase the risk of asbestos-related diseases.
Another important note is the possibility of secondhand exposure – also called take-home exposure – in which asbestos fibers settle on the construction worker’s clothing or shoes and are released into the air once they arrive home. This puts the construction worker’s family at risk for asbestos exposure, too.
Sokolove Law is dedicated to helping mesothelioma victims and their families seek the justice they deserve from corporations who knew about the dangers of asbestos exposure and chose to ignore them. As a mesothelioma law firm with nearly 40 years of experience in the industry, you can trust our commitment to holding such corporations accountable.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation to see if we can help you.