Workers in many industries may still be at risk for exposure to asbestos, the fibrous mineral that can cause illnesses like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. One of those industries where workers may still be at risk is mining.
While there are no longer any asbestos mines in the U.S., other mines may still be contaminated with asbestos. Data from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says approximately 15 percent of coal mines are contaminated with asbestos.
Below, we discuss the risks of asbestos exposure for miners. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, give us a call to schedule a free legal consultation. Our experienced Maryland mesothelioma attorneys have secured millions on behalf of asbestos victims and may be able to help you.
Asbestos is a mineral that must be mined from the ground. Even though there are no more asbestos mines, other types of mines could be contaminated with asbestos. For example, minerals like talc and vermiculite could be contaminated with asbestos.
Coal miners may also encounter asbestos. In 2005, it was estimated that miners were exposed to asbestos at a rate of two fibers per cubic centimeter. Any exposure of more than 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter is a dangerous exposure, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Coal mines in multiple states have been found to expose miners to asbestos dust. This includes:
It is also important to note some of the equipment coal miners use could contain asbestos. This equipment may include:
There are two main kinds of coal mining: open-pit mining and underground mining:
Refining coal can be just as dangerous as mining it. Coal must be sanded, crushed or filed down and this process releases coal dust into the air. If the coal was contaminated with asbestos, asbestos fibers will be released into the air.
Even if a miner does not breathe in asbestos fibers, they could come to rest on his or her clothes. When workers go home and take off their work clothes, asbestos fibers could be released into the air and be breathed in by the worker or his or her family members.
One of the biggest problems with diagnosing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases is the symptoms look like symptoms of various illnesses. That is why asbestos diseases are often not diagnosed until the later stages, when treatment options are limited.
However, there are some symptoms that are often seen in people who were exposed to asbestos. This includes:
If you or your loved one is suffering from these symptoms and you worked in a high-risk occupation or lived in a high-risk area for asbestos exposure, you should seek medical attention immediately.
For multiple decades, the licensed attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl have been representing injury victims and securing compensation for their damages. There are no upfront fees or costs with our services. That means there is no financial risk in contacting us and having us represent your claim.
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