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Emergency Relief Workers and Asbestos Exposure

Emergency Relief Workers and Asbestos Exposure
Emergency Relief Workers and Asbestos Exposure

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Emergency relief workers are subjected to asbestos exposure when they are in the vicinity of buildings or vehicles that have been damaged in a natural or man-made disaster or accident, such as a:

* Fire
* Plane crash
* Flood or hurricane
* Tornado or thunderstorm
* Terrorist attack
* Train accident

Asbestos-Containing Building and Vehicle Components

Millions of buildings and other structures in the U.S. have components that contain asbestos insulation and/or other asbestos-containing parts. Asbestos is also used in cars, SUVs, trucks, airplanes and trains in parts such as brake linings, clutches, and turbines. When the building or vehicle parts are damaged in a disaster or accident, the asbestos may be damaged too.

Inhaling Asbestos Fibers at an Emergency Site

Asbestos is a mineral that is made of millions of microscopic-sized fibers. When asbestos is manipulated (or when it's torn or broken into bits by strong forces), the fibers can be released into the air. The fibers are not visible to the naked eye, and people in the area may inhale the fibers without knowing that they are doing so.

Asbestos-Caused Cancer and Other Diseases

The asbestos fibers that emergency relief workers may accidentally inhale can become lodged in their lungs, where they stay indefinitely, perhaps causing cancer or a respiratory disease. Cancer of the lungs, mesothelium, and pericardium are common outcomes of asbestos inhalation, as is asbestosis, a severe respiratory problem.

Emergency Relief Workers Need Protection

Asbestos-caused diseases usually take years (even decades) to manifest their symptoms. When an individual's cancer or other asbestos-related disease is diagnosed, it's often revealed that the asbestos exposure occurred many years earlier. Some people with asbestos disease worked long ago as an emergency relief worker, and they may not have had the benefit of safety equipment that would have protected them from asbestos inhalation. Such workers include:

* Police officers
* Firefighter
* EMTs (emergency medical technicians)
* Ambulance drivers
* Red Cross workers
* Volunteers
* Medical personnel such as doctors and nurses
* Search and rescue teams
* Soldiers

Information for Emergency Relief Workers

If you or your loved one spent time as an emergency relief worker, you can find out more about asbestos diseases and their treatments by contacting us online for help today.

Emergency Relief Workers and Asbestos Exposure

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