No matter what kind of job you work, they will be certain risks associated with your career. Chemical exposure is one of the more pressing concerns for those who work in industrial or manufacturing facilities. Workers may wind up exposed to compounds used in various chemical processes that they would not encounter in such dangerous quantities in other environments.
Asbestos is a perfect example. A natural mineral, asbestos has been used for its insulation and fire-retardation properties for centuries. However, in recent decades, the long-term risks associated with occupational asbestos exposure have become common knowledge.
Given that the risks of asbestos exposure include the development of severe and terminal cancers, workers who have had to handle asbestos or products with asbestos in them as part of their job should have workplace protection against exposure and financial protection if that exposure ends up sickening them.
Asbestos exposure takes years to affect the human body
Unlike certain chemical or biological contaminants, asbestos usually takes a long time to produce the worst possible diseases it can cause in people. It can often take mesothelioma or lung cancer years, if not decades, to develop in an exposed worker.
If you have developed mesothelioma or similar conditions years after leaving a job where you handled asbestos, you might think you have no rights or protections. Especially for those whose former employers have since gone out of business, it may seem like there are no options available when they receive an asbestos-related diagnosis.
However, for several decades, the government has mandated that businesses closing or filing bankruptcy after exposing workers to asbestos must fund trusts to provide for their former workers.
An asbestos trust or bankruptcy trust may have resources for workers
Treatment for asbestos-related illness is often cost-prohibitive, especially because many of the people who need to claim benefits have already retired and may rely on Medicare or other state insurance programs with minimal coverage. Asbestos trusts have recently come under increased scrutiny for when and how much they pay out, which means applications for benefits need to be thorough and accurate.
Talking with an attorney familiar with asbestos claims can give you information about how to seek compensation after workplace asbestos exposure makes you ill.