Bystander Exposure in Indiana

What is Bystander Exposure?

Bystander exposure occurs when someone is in an area where other people are using asbestos or asbestos-containing products. Many people are exposed to asbestos as "bystanders." Asbestos fibers are extremely small and the slightest disturbances can cause any loose asbestos to become airborne. Once they are released, these invisible fibers spread through the air and are inhaled by everyone in the area.

In many cases, bystander is indirect form of exposure through a family member or loved one. Spouses and adults who were exposed as children in their homes are being more frequently diagnosed with asbestos diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestos cancer. Workers carried the asbestos fibers home on their clothing, shoes, body and hair. The asbestos fibers contaminated cars and homes. Those who did household chores, such as laundry and cleaning were exposed.

In many cases, bystander exposure is an indirect form of occupational exposure. When a Navy seaman stood watch on a ship being repaired at a shipyard, he was exposed to all the asbestos released by the work of the shipyard workers. Likewise, a carpenter working at a construction site could be exposed to asbestos insulation and drywall from the plasterers working nearby. Even people in clerical or managerial positions could have bystander exposure if they worked at jobsites where other people were regularly using asbestos products.

Bystander exposure is more common than most people think. A bystander’s level of exposure can be substantial and can lead to the development of asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma. The bottom line is that exposure to asbestos is dangerous — and deadly — under any circumstance, whether direct or indirect.

Courts have recognized the rights of bystanders who have been exposed to asbestos. They have allowed bystanders and their families to receive compensation for injuries they have suffered related to their asbestos exposure. It is important that you preserve your legal rights.

If you believe that your diagnosis of mesothelioma or another asbestos disease is as a result of your secondhand exposure to asbestos, please contact George & Farinas, LLP immediately so we can help you and your loved ones.

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