Exposure to asbestos can cause a number of ill effects, ranging from chest tightness and pain to shortness of breath to weight loss. Persistent and dry coughing may also occur.
Those in milling, manufacturing and mining jobs often suffered from an elevated risk of asbestos exposure, especially before the 1970s. This often resulted in asbestosis, a lung disease caused by regular exposure to asbestos.
Mayo Clinic discusses the risk factors associated with asbestosis. Generally speaking, some jobs had a higher chance of coming into contact with asbestos frequently than others. These jobs involved equipment, machinery or products that contained asbestos.
Examples of such occupations include auto and aircraft mechanics, railroad workers, construction workers, shipyard attendants, electricians, boiler operators and asbestos miners.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of asbestos, family members of loved ones who worked in these professions could also end up developing asbestosis. Fibers could cling to the worker’s clothing and may have exposed their family every time they came home from work.
Though asbestos has since gotten banned in most areas, asbestos mining still exists. These workers have a high rate of asbestosis, along with complications like lung cancer or malignant mesothelioma.
Safety measures and failure to meet them
Special safety measures now exist introduced by the federal government which determine how workers can interact with asbestos. This includes limiting the spread of the particles to the air, as they do not pose as much of a threat when stagnant and contained.
However, not every company follows these safety measures appropriately. This is what can still lead to the development of asbestosis in workers even today.