Throughout the United States, within commercial buildings and industrial facilities, there are complex pipe systems that have been designed, installed, and repaired by pipefitters. These tradesmen have worked to create these systems, specially designed for the substance it will transport, which could include water, gas, steam and more.
During the twentieth century asbestos gained popularity in many industries because the inexpensive mineral was strong and resistant to corrosive chemicals, extreme heat, and fire. Before it became known to the public that asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other diseases, asbestos building materials saturated the construction industry.
As pipe fitters worked to design, install, and repair pipefittings they likely handled and manipulated asbestos materials in areas that were often unventilated. Regular job activity often requires a pipefitter to cut and sand asbestos insulation and reshape asbestos gaskets to fit a specific project. While intact, asbestos poses little threat. It is when asbestos become friable, from actions like cutting and sanding, that the mineral becomes dangerous. When the small asbestos fibers become airborne, they can easily be ingested. Once inside the body they can cause inflammation and scarring in organ tissue that may lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other diseases.
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Generally, it takes 10 to 60 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Many of the companies have established trust funds to pay compensation to persons injured by asbestos.
If you have mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related injury, and wish to consult an attorney about your legal rights to compensation, CLICK HERE for a free consultation.