Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, only has one known cause — asbestos. Sadly, carpenters were surrounded by asbestos on jobsites throughout the 20th century. Mesothelioma in carpenters is much more common than in the general population. People harmed by asbestos may be entitled to compensation.
Mesothelioma and Carpenters Explained
Before the dangers of asbestos were fully understood, asbestos was used in insulation, heat-protection, and fireproofing materials. It was included in cement, bricks, flooring, roofing, and just about everything used in construction.
As carpenters regularly worked on construction sites, they were often exposed to asbestos fibers in dozens of building materials without even realizing it.
Carpentry work that can put workers' lives at risk include:
- Commercial construction (schools, offices, and shops)
- Residential construction (houses and apartments)
- Industrial construction (major warehouses, facilities, and worksites)
Jobs as simple as hammering a nail into a wall containing asbestos could release fibers into the air that could then be inhaled or ingested.
Asbestos fibers can become embedded in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, and heart, causing mesothelioma tumors to grow. Mesothelioma can take 10-50 years to fully develop. Many carpenters will not know that they have been exposed to the harmful fibers for years, if not decades.
If you're a carpenter who has developed mesothelioma, it's important to know that several medical procedures can relieve your mesothelioma symptoms and prolong your life. These procedures can be expensive, but you may be able to file a lawsuit against the companies that hid the dangers of asbestos.
These lawsuits can get you money in as little as 90 days to help pay for treatments that can lead to a longer life. Get started right now by finding a top mesothelioma lawyer who can help.
History of Asbestos Exposure in Carpenters
Many workers in the construction industry from the 1940s onward have come into contact with asbestos. The material was used as an inexpensive insulating component in the walls of buildings. It was often used in structures built between 1940 and 1980, but even carpenters today are at risk.
Renovating older houses threatens to disturb dormant asbestos. The toxic fibers can disperse and put workers at risk. The use of power tools on wallboards or tiles can be particularly dangerous, as power saws and drills can cause a lot of dust and release asbestos particles into the air.
Other building products that may have caused asbestos exposure in carpenters include:
- Ceiling tiles
- Fire doors
- Insulations around boilers, etc.
- Joint compounds
- Roof sheets
- Sprayed-on fireproofing
It wasn't until the 1980s that the real dangers of asbestos were discovered. Carpenters taking part in renovations nowadays must first request an inspection from qualified asbestos professionals to determine whether the area is safe or if breathing equipment is required.
Highest Risk Jobs for Asbestos Exposure in Carpenters
There are many ways carpenters could have come into contact with asbestos during work. Even if they weren’t working on a particular section of a building that contained asbestos, their proximity to other tradesmen on site also could have led to exposure.
Asbestos fibers from elsewhere in the building could have become airborne, putting carpenters and other tradesmen in the area at significant risk of developing mesothelioma later in life.
Carpenters were not usually provided with face masks or breathing devices while working on large building sites — primarily because they weren’t considered necessary at the time.
Airborne asbestos dust is a continued risk for carpenters today when working in older buildings. It's recommended that an asbestos professional inspect the site before work begins to protect workers. In some states, this is mandatory.
There are also new health and safety regulations around breathing apparatuses, face masks, and overalls to protect carpenters from inhaling toxic fibers.
Veteran Carpenters and Mesothelioma
The use of asbestos in the U.S. coincided with our entry in World War II and the boom that followed. Many veterans who served during and after the 1940s worked as carpenters or builders while serving in the military.
In the post-war era, the boom in construction was also a boom in asbestos use, and many veterans were potentially exposed to asbestos in construction and carpentry-related professions.
If you served in the U.S. military, you earned VA benefits. These benefits can make a huge difference for veterans suffering from mesothelioma.
Our Free Veterans Packet can explain the benefits and help that may be available to you.
Carpenters and Asbestos Lawsuits
Workers who contract mesothelioma may be able to pursue compensation for personal injury.
Mesothelioma laws differ in each state, but patients usually have between 1-3 years from the date of diagnosis to file for personal injury. Family members also usually have between 1-3 years to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Compensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit can help support the family and pay for medical costs.
It is essential that patients with mesothelioma contact a lawyer with experience in this complex legal field to get the quickest results and maximum compensation.
The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you find out if you're eligible to file a lawsuit and put you in touch with some of the best mesothelioma law firms in the country. Contact us today at (877) 450-8973 to see how we can help.
FAQs About Mesothelioma and Carpenters
Can you sue for working around asbetos?
To sue the companies that exposed you to asbestos, you must have been harmed by the exposure.
In terms of a lawsuit, the exposure itself isn't enough for you to sue. It is enough, however, if you've been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer. The illness is a type of "harm" recognized by courts that gives you grounds to sue.
Does everyone exposed to asbestos contract mesothelioma?
No, most people exposed to asbestos do not develop mesothelioma.
According to the American Cancer Society, even people exposed to large amounts of asbestos are still unlikely to develop mesothelioma. There is a rough correlation between the amount of asbestos exposure and the likelihood of contracting mesothelioma, but many other factors may also contribute.
These factors include the age of initial exposure, the frequency of exposure, whether you have been treated with radiation, and genetic factors.
What occupations are at risk for mesothelioma?
Among the most at-risk occupations for mesothelioma are:
- Construction Workers
- Factory Workers
- Textile Mill Workers