Mining is one of the most dangerous professions that have existed throughout our history and it continues to be dangerous despite every attempt we have made to improve the safety of mine shafts and research safer means of mine operation. Dust kicked up into the air throughout a mine shaft almost always contains some trace amount of asbestos because of the natural occurrence of the minerals underground. Workers who are exposed to the dust on a regular basis are at an extremely great risk of developing mesothelioma or other illnesses that are related to asbestos exposure.
Regulated Asbestos Levels in Mines
When it was discovered that asbestos was linked to illness later on in life, there was a great push to require mine shafts to reduce the amount of asbestos particulate in the air. It wasn’t until 1971 that new regulations were put in place to limit asbestos in the air of mine shafts to 1 fiber per cubic centimeter. Even at this level, mine workers are still exposed to asbestos in the air constantly and prolonged exposure is linked to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos Regularly Used In Mining Operations
Until the late 1970s, asbestos was in high demand and asbestos mining came to a peak around the same time that new regulations began to be put in place to protect workers who handled products that contained asbestos. Asbestos is found throughout nature in small quantities but is in higher concentrations underground, making exposure a certainty for any miner, but miners who worked in asbestos mines were at a much greater risk of developing health problems related to the exposure. Asbestos miners would usually exacerbate the situation by getting the minerals on their skin, in their hair and on their clothing, which would keep them exposed to the substance after returning home from work.
Families Secondhand Exposure to Asbestos
Many miners would bring asbestos fibers home with them in this manner and their family members would unknowingly inhale the fibers, putting them at risk of developing health problems later on in life. The act of hugging a spouse or a child was enough to expose that person to asbestos and asbestos tainted clothing would spread it around a person’s home. Because it can take a long time after asbestos exposure for health problems to develop, most families of miners are unaware of the problem until it is too late. Multiple family members may develop lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma because of prolonged contact with a family member who works in a mine.
Whether you or your loved ones have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or any illness related to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation even if you have not been directly exposed to the asbestos firsthand. Companies that have failed to implement proper safety protocols in order to protect their employees may be liable for their workers and their families. If your family has been impacted by asbestos exposure, you will want to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer in order to pursue damages.
Why You Need A Law Firm With Experience Representing Miners In Mesothelioma Cases
We represent many victims of asbestos exposure and we are here to help you along the way as counselors, legal representation and as your friends. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our many offices located throughout Illinois. If you are not nearby, we will even travel out to meet you. Any information that you give us will remain strictly confidential and the consultation is completely free of charge— we never ask our clients to pay us until we have won their case or negotiated a settlement that is in their best interests.