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If we could turn back time, there would probably not be as much asbestos around in homes and buildings, in view of the health risks that are associated with the material. Despite the obvious and justifiable concerns, you may be surprised to discover that a number of products are still made using asbestos.

Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer caused by exposure to the material and you can get more information from and answers to any questions you might have regarding the difficult treatment journey involved.

Here is a look at some of the occupations where there is still a risk of asbestos exposure caused by a lack of regulation in the past, and where asbestos might still be present.

The risk of asbestos exposure at work

Asbestos was extensively used in construction trades as well as military applications and facilities, and at one point, it was considered to be the material of choice across a range of industries, even after health concerns were raised, as there was a heavy reliance of the material in place that took time to dissipate.

Such is the extent of the problem, that the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety have identified in excess of seventy five occupational groups where workers have been exposed to asbestos.

The unfortunate and often potentially deadly consequences of long-term exposure to asbestos on a frequent basis, has been that a number of workers have subsequently developed asbestos-related diseases , such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

Asbestos everywhere

Virtually everywhere you look, there is a high chance that some level of asbestos will be present, especially when you consider its resistance to heat, electricity, chemicals and water, which is why it was such a popular material in the first place.

The fact that this mineral, which exists naturally in fibrous form, is still present in so many areas, is largely down to its resistant properties, but it does also highlight why it is such an ongoing issue.

There is a comprehensive list of products and applications that incorporated asbestos. These include concrete and cement, pipes, gaskets, drywall, fire-retardant coatings as well as a number of electrical appliances and even industrial hats and gloves.

There are clearly too many items containing asbestos to list them all. But it is worth remembering that even today, factories, schools, older homes, automobiles, ships and other transport, are just some of the things where you could find products that still contain asbestos, or where asbestos is present from old installations.

High-risk occupations

Construction workers and a number of blue collar trades are more at risk of exposure to asbestos than some other occupations, and although the risk of exposure is not as great as it once was, there is still a need for heightened safety awareness, if you are working in a high-risk job with recognized dangers of exposure.

Construction workers and shipbuilders are amongst those specifically at risk, as well some factory workers and workers in the automotive industry.

There is certainly a heightened level of health and safety awareness relating to the dangers of exposure to asbestos, and despite a significant decline in its use, it is definitely advise to understand and be aware of the risks attached to this material.

Demi Davison works as a risk management officer. Her topics cover those areas of which she is knowledgeable, or which spark an idea in her head for an article topic that the public should know about.