Asbestos: What is it and who is at risk?

| Toxic Exposure, Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was valued for its fire-resistant properties. But not long after its discovery is that asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer. When asbestos is crushed or broken, microscopic fibers can be inhaled. For years, these risks were concealed from workers and the public. Beasley Allen lawyer Sharon Zinns, who leads the firm’s mesothelioma litigation from our Atlanta office, explains how workers in a variety of professions were exposed to asbestos. Those at risk included U.S. Navy personnel who worked in certain areas on ships, port workers, auto mechanics, and factory workers. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. As a result, family members of those who worked with asbestos also were at risk of secondary exposure from handling work clothes and shoes laden with asbestos fibers.

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