Asbestos is a mineral that resists heat and corrosion. For this reason, it used to be popular to use asbestos as a material for insulation in buildings and around pipes and in motor vehicle parts. However, we now know that asbestos is a health hazard and is highly carcinogenic. Exposure to asbestos through work, especially in the construction industry and automobile industry, can cause workers to inhale microscopic asbestos fibers, leading to cancers such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a fatal malignant cancer of the lung or stomach cavity lining. There is no cure for mesothelioma, nor is there any “safe” level of exposure to asbestos.

For this reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards in place for the sectors of the workforce where workers would likely come in contact with asbestos. Employers in the construction industry and general industry must assess the risk of asbestos exposure on their worksites and provide workers with personal protective equipment, along with limiting possible exposure time to asbestos.

Developing cancer is always distressing, but if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma due to an unacceptable level of asbestos exposure at work, you will have to face the harsh reality of your illness, made more tragic because this exposure could have been prevented had your employer provided appropriate protections. Employers may try to cover up or deny that they were responsible for exposing workers to unacceptable levels of asbestos. However, the dangers of asbestos are well-known and at some point employers bear responsibility for cancers their workers suffer due to asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma.

If you contracted mesothelioma due to an employer’s negligence, it may be time to determine if a personal injury claim is possible. While no amount of money can undo a fatal diagnosis, a personal injury claim can help you and your loved ones during an emotionally and financially difficult time, and it can employers who put their workers’ safety at risk responsible for the damages done.