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Did you get exposed to mesothelioma in the workplace?

When it comes to asbestos-related illnesses, there are some employment fields that have much higher rates of patient diagnoses.

Furthermore, mesothelioma seems to affect blue collar, salt-of-the-earth type of workers who toiled for decades while being exposed. Even though the regulations banning the use of asbestos-laden material have been expanded, some products and industries continue to use asbestos in manufacturing.

It usually takes many years for the exposures on the job to produce symptoms. Often three or four decades can pass before a sufferer gets sick. Below are some employment sectors with abnormally high exposure rates.

-- Car repair

-- Firefighting

-- Energy and power

-- Construction

-- Real estate

-- Refineries

-- Electrical

-- Plumbing

-- Armed Forces

-- Teaching

There were and are many refineries around the Chicago area. The production of petroleum products led to fire-retardant asbestos being used as insulation for equipment run at high temperatures, as well as for pipelines and piping. Even the protective gear refinery workers donned was made out of asbestos.

The refinery premises may even have had asbestos ceiling tiles or sub-flooring, increasing exposure to the workers. Worse, when those workers left the plant, they carried deadly asbestos fibers home to their wives and children.

It's easy to see how the problem was widespread in certain industries. But the problems and complications workers suffer can be extreme and fatal. Trying to pinpoint exposures due to employment can be a gargantuan task when you are already battling a life-threatening illness.

It's vital that you understand that you have rights in cases involving workplace exposures. Only then can you make informed decisions on the best path to take.

Source: Surving Mesothelioma, "What Are Asbestos Related Occupations?," accessed March 04, 2016

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