The danger asbestos poses to construction workers has not been as widely acknowledged in recent years. For too many, asbestos is a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, asbestos remains a significant danger. Thousands die every year due to exposure to asbestos dust, largely from mesothelioma and lung cancer. Tens of millions of homes throughout the U.S. contain asbestos, and industrial processes and products continue to use asbestos.
It appears that many construction workers may be unaware of the danger.
Construction workers still in danger
A new study by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, a British government agency, revealed that one in four British construction workers are exposed to asbestos on the job, while one-third of all construction workers do not know that asbestos causes cancer. 20 percent said they were not sure how to check for asbestos, and a larger percentage were unsure what to do about it if asbestos was found.
Britain, like the U.S., used asbestos frequently throughout the 20th century.
Following proper asbestos abatement procedures is essential
While the study took place in England, the results hold true for many construction workers and laborers in the U.S.
While deaths from mesothelioma have declined gradually, at least 3,000 lives are taken every year by this avoidable illness. It is still vital that construction workers are aware of where they may be exposed to asbestos and use proper asbestos abatement procedures when asbestos is found.