Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that became one of the most commonly used materials throughout the 20th century, namely in construction, manufacturing, and shipbuilding industries. Come mid-20th century, however, the connection between asbestos exposure and harmful respiratory problems-often cancerous- was made, and it’s use was strictly limited thereafter. According to Williams Kherkher, companies are responsible for taking reasonable safety precautions and making sure workers and visitors are kept out of danger, but unfortunately, the necessary precautions are not always carried out to the fullest, or even at all. Even though federal law mandated as of 1970 that no building, construction or worksite may contain more than 1% of asbestos, the United States is still one of the few developed countries that hasn’t banned it all together. Naturally, this leaves a window of possible exposure open. The most common occupations that have the highest potential for exposure include construction workers, railroad workers, contract workers, factory employees, military personnel, and firefighters, all of which are exposed to and must handle asbestos in the workplace.
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