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Is asbestos exposure a thing of the past?

Construction workers, those in the manufacturing industry and many others in South Carolina, frequently work with strange-sounding chemicals and substances but never develop cancer. So what makes asbestos exposure so different in this regard? Asbestos is well-understood to be a durable material that is extremely dangerous to human health.

Asbestos is not only durable, but is also extremely resistant to heat and a good insulator. Because of this, it was once widely used in an untold number of products, including brake pads, construction materials and much, much more. Unfortunately, that durable nature also makes it extremely hazardous.

When inhaled, asbestos dust can settle in the lungs, contributing to a number of serious illnesses. Mesothelioma -- a fatal cancer -- is perhaps most well-known, but it is certainly not the only danger. Asbestosis is a condition in which the dust causes permanent fibrous scarring in a person's lungs. These disease most frequently occur in individuals who suffer long-term exposure.

Despite attempts dating back in 1989 to heavily restrict new uses of asbestos, it is still commonly used with fewer restrictions than people might expect. This means that there may be many people in South Carolina who are at risk for asbestos exposure without realizing it. Individuals who suspect that they may have been exposed to this toxic substance should consider keeping careful and detailed records as early on as possible. By documenting known or suspected exposures, health issues and more, victims may be more prepared to pursue necessary compensation in the future.

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