What Is Secondary Asbestos Exposure?

Unbeknownst to many people, exposure to asbestos does not only come from working with or being repeatedly exposed to it through your career. There are many different types of asbestos exposure, the main two being primary and secondary exposure. Primary exposure is the most common and known about type of exposure, it comes from working in a field such as construction and being repeatedly exposed to asbestos through your job. The lesser known of method of asbestos exposure is secondary exposure. Although secondary exposure is not as well known of, it is just as dangerous as primary exposure.     People who work in a field that handles asbestos contaminated products or someone who is repeatedly exposed to poorly done asbestos removals or construction projects do not only put themselves at risk. Due to asbestos’ fibrous form, it easily goes airborne and can be breathed in by any of the people around it. However, not only is it going into worker’s lungs, but the airborne asbestos also can cover the worker’s skin, clothes, and hair. When the worker returns home, those asbestos that have settled onto their shirts and skin can easily be disrupted again.     This is why the majority of people affected by secondary exposure to asbestos are women and children. It’s very easy for a father to come home to his family and expose them to the asbestos on his clothes. All it would take would be a quick hug from the wife or picking up the child for the asbestos on the clothes to go airborne and expose the entire family.     This type of exposure is very dangerous and led to the wives and children of many industrial working class men to be exposed to asbestos and contract asbestos related diseases and cancers. These diseases and cancers included mesothelioma, pleural thickening, and lung cancer.     Luckily, asbestos has been phased out from many industrial jobs, and the knowledge of the dangers of asbestos that we have today has greatly increased how careful people are when handling it. Due to this, secondary exposure to asbestos is now very rare.

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