Second Hand Asbestos Exposure
Individuals who are exposed to asbestos through a secondary source are at considerable risk for developing asbestos-related diseases. Secondary exposure is no less dangerous, as asbestos fibers can be inhaled from the dust on the clothing of individuals who come into direct contact with them.
Spouses and children of workers subjected to asbestos are at risk for developing asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma – though these illnesses may not appear for decades following exposure.
The National Institute of Health released estimates approximating that 11 million people experienced some degree of asbestos exposure between 1940 and 1978. That means that individuals who experienced second hand asbestos exposure could realize its effects for years to come. In fact, the number of mesothelioma cases hasn’t even reached their peak, as the number of annual diagnoses will continue to rise until approximately 2020.