What Is Secondhand or Take-Home Asbestos Exposure?

Shipyard workerDid you know people can get an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, without ever working around the toxic mineral? In an asbestos-heavy work environment, acts such as cutting, drilling and sanding can expel toxic fibers in the air, which can get distributed across the workplace through ventilation ducts and onto workers’ clothing and skin.

Depending on work regulations and knowledge of asbestos at the time, many workers may not have been warned to change clothes or shower before returning home. As a result, fibers traveling on their clothes could have easily spread through their home and onto their family members, known as secondhand or take-home asbestos exposure, in several different ways:

  • Laundry: Asbestos fibers are jagged in structure, allowing them to easily get attached to clothing. Anyone handling or washing these clothes would be in direct exposure to asbestos.
  • Furniture: If a worker sat on the couch or laid in bed with their work clothes on, the fibers could have transferred to the furniture and onto others.
  • Hugs: Even a simple hug between a father and his daughter could expose the child to the deadly carcinogen.

Many mesothelioma cases developed from children being around their fathers, or someone else they lived with, after they got home from working around asbestos. It’s also important to realize that this would not have been a rare occurrence; the contamination could have been occurring 5 days a week or more, for years.

Like those who have had direct contact with asbestos, victims of secondhand exposure may also be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. In order to have a successful legal claim, you must be able to trace the exposure back to a defendant (employer) who is at fault for not protecting or warning others against the dangers of asbestos. If you believe unsafe work conditions resulted in your illness, contact our Chicago mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.

Call (800) 774-7120 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our lawyers travel all across the United States, accepting cases nationwide.


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