Types of Asbestos Exposure

Well, there are three main categories of exposure that victims can generally be classified within. The first is direct exposure. A typical example of that would be a pipe coverer who pulls a piece of pipe covering that contains 15% asbestos, he puts it over a pipe, he saws it, he is exposed directly to that, to the asbestos cements that go between the joints of each pipe segment. Then we have the person working underneath him, such as let’s say a carpenter who doesn’t work with asbestos products all that much compared to the pipe coverer who works with it every minute of every day, but the carpenter is working right underneath the pipe coverer and the asbestos is raining down on him. That is referred to as bystander exposure.

Secondhand exposure would be more likely to be a family member, like a wife who takes the clothing of the worker, shakes it out at the end of the day before she puts it in the washing machine. We have a certain number of cases every year of a family member of a tradesman who develops an asbestos-related disease because they simply came into contact with the clothing or the back of a truck where the kids may have been playing, where the dad carried asbestos products. And that is different than on the worksite exposure.

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