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It can be overwhelming and frightening to learn that you have been exposed to asbestos at work. While you are powerless to change what has happened, you do have control over what happens in the future and there are steps that you can take to protect yourself.
Specifically, it is important to:
Talk with your employer to ensure that steps are taken to prevent further asbestos exposure. The effects of asbestos exposure are cumulative. You have a higher risk of developing an asbestos related disease, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, if you have continued exposure to asbestos fibers. Thus, you and your employer should be on the same page about how to protect against further exposure.
Find a doctor who has experience with asbestos related diseases. Not all doctors have experience treating people who have been exposed to asbestos and the symptoms of asbestosis and mesothelioma can be subtle. In order to protect yourself, it is important to find a doctor who knows what asbestosis and mesothelioma symptoms to look for and what diagnostic tests to perform so that any asbestos related diseases can be caught and treated early. Early detection and early treatment may be your best chance at survival.
If you know someone who was exposed to asbestos at work, please share this page with him so that he can do what he can to protect himself from the potentially dangerous effects of asbestos.