When people think of a workplace illness, it is not uncommon to think of illnesses that commonly affect many blue-collar workers. This may include asbestos-related diseases, which affected thousands of those working in construction and in naval yards, or those working in the coal industry who are often exposed to toxic gasses in mines or dust that gathers in areas with low ventilation or reduced air flow. While each of these are dangerous, it is important to recognize that illnesses also affect those who work in offices and buildings as well.
Tens of thousands of victims throughout the world, over 107,000 each year, according to the World Health Organization, suffer from asbestos-related illnesses each year. The product became popular due to its durability and versatility. It was used for a variety of products, from commercial and home construction mixed with cement, woven into fabrics and used as insulation and even for fireproof vests. But, while its heat resistance properties were helpful, little did everyone know that the fibers from the product were highly toxic, known to cause mesothelioma cancer.
Millions of Americans are affected by asthma, a disorder that can cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and other serious symptoms. Though often treatable, the illness can be triggered by any number of irritants and allergens in a person's environment, and unfortunately for some those aggravating substances may be present in their places of work.