People often expect dangerous things to be open and obvious. However, in many situations, dangerous property conditions are not something that are immediately apparent. In the case of asbestos, it may actually be completely hidden. Asbestos was a construction material used for several decades before its dangerous properties were discovered. While it was useful in creating fire-resistant materials , when broken up and inhaled, it can cause a dangerous cancer called mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is caused when the asbestos fibers are inhaled and settle in a person's lungs or stomach. Overtime, the fibers are not cleared from the body, but cause irritation that can lead to the cancer. Even small amounts of exposure to the asbestos fibers can cause this deadly disease.
In order to prevent the occurrence of mesothelioma, people need to take steps to ensure that they are not exposed to asbestos fibers. In particular, workers in certain fields are the most susceptible to asbestos exposure. These workers include insulation manufactures, factory workers, miners, mechanics, construction workers and ship builders. People who work in these fields should take special precautions to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure. This includes wearing specialized protective equipment. Showers may also be necessary before a person goes home or a break.
Certain people may also be at risk of asbestos exposure in their homes. In older homes, asbestos might be present. In these cases, removing the asbestos may create a hazard. People in this situation should not remove the asbestos without the assistance of a qualified expert.
When a dangerous property condition, like the presence of asbestos, puts people at risk, the property owner may be held responsible for the damage caused by that condition. In some cases, people may receive compensation for serious injuries caused on the property of another. An attorney might be able to help people understand when they qualify for this type of compensation.