Firefighters are at risk of asbestos exposure because of its frequent use in older structures and its ability to linger in the air even after a fire has been extinguished.
Free Mesothelioma Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related health condition, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What’s the problem?
Unlike so many other dangers faced by firefighters, the threat of asbestos is subtle and insidious. There is seldom any warning sign to tell a firefighter that they have been exposed to a toxic hazard. Asbestos is a hidden danger and firefighters are usually exposed to asbestos in situations where they have every reason to believe they are safe.
In the initial stages of extinguishing a fire, the burning asbestos may become damaged to the point where the fibers are easily released into the air. Once exposed into the air, it is easy to breathe it, where it becomes lodged in tiny sacs lining organs, and the victim is not able to breath or cough them out. Most protective equipment that firefighters use will eliminate the exposure risk. Often, in a real emergency, firefighters must surrender their protective gear in order to aid a victim, therefore exposing themselves.
In the secondary stages of extinguishing a fire, some firefighters may get rid of the protective gear because it is uncomfortable. The danger here is that the remaining debris may still contain a high level of asbestos and may release it when overturned.
Another risk firefighters face is when buildings scheduled for demolition are intentionally used (and burned) for training purposes. Although removing all regulated asbestos materials from such buildings before they are burned is now required by regulations of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, this was not always the case. If such material is missed, the fire can release asbestos fibers into the air.
Do I have a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in asbestos-related mesothelioma lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.