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Michael Monheit
Michael Monheit
Attorney • (215) 840-6573

Do People Get Asbestos Cancer if They Don’t Work in the Field?


Just as you can get lung cancer from second hand smoke, without ever smoking a cigarette, so too can you get mesothelioma from second hand asbestos exposure, without ever having worked with asbestos fibers.

Second hand exposure to mesothelioma is possible if:

  • · You lived near an asbestos factory, particularly as a child;
  • · A relative worked with asbestos and the fibers came home on his clothing; or
  • · You were otherwise exposed to asbestos.

Malignant mesothelioma is equally dangerous whether you had direct, or second hand, exposure to asbestos.

Whether you worked directly with asbestos or whether you have been exposed to the dangerous asbestos fibers second hand, you need to be aware that you are at risk of contracting the disease.

Often, mesothelioma presents without any symptoms making it particularly dangerous. If you believe that you are at risk, please talk to your doctor about the potential symptoms of the mesothelioma and about tests for the cancer. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact a mesothelioma attorney for more information about your rights and your potential recovery.


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  1. Elena Colon says:
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    Thanks for covering what is still such an overlooked world tragedy. I appreciate this a lot as I am very personally involved in the asbestos problem. (A relative of mine is struggling with an asbestos-induced disease.) Many people do not realize that asbestos can cause lung cancer. Here are more resources that might be helpful.

  2. Rick Shapiro says:
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    I agree with you about the danger of second hand asbestos. One thing that is so difficult about asbestosis, asbestos disease cases, including mesothelioma, is that the railroad workers often still do not know what equipment, train cars, or things may have exposed them to asbestos decades ago. http://www.hsinjurylaw.com/library/a-general-review-of-asbestos-claims-affecting-railroad-workers.cfm