Disaster and emergency relief workers arrive at disaster sites (both natural and man made) shortly after disasters occur to assist injured victims. Often, disaster relief workers arrive when the disaster is still ongoing. Unfortunately, disaster relief workers are often exposed to asbestos at disaster sites, causing many disaster relief workers to develop serious asbestos-related diseases.

Disaster Relief Workers

The United States has unfortunately experienced many major disasters, including:

  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Wildfires
  • Landslides
  • Bombings
  • Terrorist attacks

Notable recent disasters include:

When a disasters strikes, many disaster relief workers rush to assist victims. Disaster relief workers may be paid public service workers or volunteers. Some specific disaster relief workers include:

  • Police officers
  • Firefighters
  • Emergency medical technicians (EMT)
  • Soldiers
  • Construction workers
  • Red Cross workers

Disaster Relief Workers and Asbestos Exposure

Often, disasters relief workers arrive at disaster sites that were severely damaged. For example, natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, can violently destroy many commercial and residential buildings. Before the EPA banned asbestos use in buildings, most buildings were constructed with materials that contained asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral with tiny fibers that are toxic when inhaled or ingested. During disasters, many buildings that contained asbestos were damaged or destroyed, releasing toxic asbestos fibers into the air. Disaster relief workers who rushed to assist disaster victims were exposed to these toxic asbestos fibers, causing many disaster relief workers to develop severe illnesses, such as:

  • mesothelioma (a cancer that affects the lining surrounding the lungs)
  • asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • lung cancer
  • esophageal, stomach, colon, or rectum cancer

Injured Disaster Relief Worker

If you or a loved one were a disaster relief worker and were injured from asbestos exposure, please contact our asbestos attorneys today as you may be entitled to compensation.

Published November 17, 2011 by