The Dangers of Short Term Asbestos Exposure

August 14, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

There is no question that exposure to asbestos fibers is the only cause of diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos lung cancer. But over the past decades, the level of exposure at which a person becomes susceptible to such diseases has been greatly debated. Some asbestos industry officials have argued that there must be substantial exposure to the toxic fibers to be considered a threat. However, the recent passing of a mesothelioma patient in Britain suggests that even exposure over a short period of time can be fatal.

Roger Beale, a Welwyn, UK resident, began experiencing shortness of breath almost four years ago. After a series of chest x-rays, he was sent home with a mere chest infection diagnosis. But the problem only increased and Beale returned to his physician in 2010 and was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. By November of the same year, his symptoms continued to worsen and Beale passed away at 67.

Although mesothelioma is highly prevalent in the UK, there is something unique about Beale’s diagnosis that is cause for alarm.

To his knowledge, Beale had only worked around asbestos when he was a factory worker in 1967. During his time at the factory, he was required to cut asbestos with a circular saw without the use of a mask or protective clothing. During this time, he inhaled and ingested the toxic fibers and also carried the fibers home with him on his clothes. This exposure to asbestos is what led to his mesothelioma diagnosis and ultimately, his passing.

Now, this scenario may sound like a textbook situation for a mesothelioma diagnosis. So why is Beale’s case of the asbestos disease unique?

He only worked at the factory for three days.

Beale’s mesothelioma diagnosis is a clear indication that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Although asbestos is now banned in the UK, the toxic substance is still being used in the United States today. Asbestos still exists in older building structures, including homes, schools and hospitals. When the structures are disturbed, asbestos fibers can be released into the air. With Beale’s diagnosis stemming from such a short period of exposure, no amount of exposure should be acceptable.

The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd has been representing the interests of mesothelioma patients and their loved ones for over 35 years. The firm has dealt with a variety of cases that were a result from varying levels of asbestos exposure. Baron and Budd knows that no amount of exposure is safe and fully supports a global ban on asbestos.

For more information about Baron and Budd, visit here.

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