Despite the fact that we have long known about the dangers of asbestos, plenty of misconceptions persist today. And unfortunately, these misconceptions have the potential to put people in danger.
Below, we explore three common mistaken beliefs about asbestos and why they put people at risk.
Misconception 1: Parties no longer use asbestos in products
Until the 1970s and 1980s, asbestos was still regularly used in products ranging from building materials to children’s toys.
And while it is true that using asbestos is not as common as it was a generation ago, that does not mean it is completely banned for use in the United States. In fact, brake pads and shoes are among the products that parties continue to make using asbestos. And houses and buildings still contain asbestos products used decades ago.
Misconception 2: Exposure must be ongoing to be dangerous
The longer a person’s exposure to asbestos is, the higher their risk of illness can be. But that does not mean it is not dangerous in small quantities.
As we discussed in this article, there is no precise calculation for determining how much exposure will lead to severe illness. Some people can work around asbestos for decades and never get sick; others can develop asbestosis or mesothelioma after ingesting fibers for weeks or months.
The fact is that exposure for any amount of time could threaten the health of some individuals.
Misconception 3: There is no way to identify the source of exposure
It can take many years for a person to start showing symptoms of an asbestos-related illness. Because of this, they might assume there is no way to identify the source of exposure. After all, who remembers details of asbestos exposure that happened 30 or 40 years ago?
However, there are ways to track exposure with legal guidance and resources. Trained parties can look at a person’s employment history, living conditions and military experience and identify likely sources of asbestos exposure.
What does this all mean?
When people make decisions based on these misconceptions, they could be putting themselves in preventable danger. They could also be jeopardizing their legal rights and financial remedies they may be eligible to collect.