The people at greatest risk from "second-hand" exposure to asbestos and consequent contraction of Mesothelioma, are those who handle the clothes as would occur in laundering. The person doing the laundry would pickup and handle the clothes when moving them to the laundry room, while sorting prior to washing, and in transferring them to the washing machine or wash water. Exposure to asbestos in water is far less important than exposure to asbestos in air. Others in the house would have little exposure compared to those handling the clothes and doing the laundry. Similar "second-hand" exposures can occur for families of workers in other industries that involve "dusts" or "particles" such as carbon black. Usually these particulates are not nearly as toxic as asbestos; however, while carbon black is non-toxic, the surface of the particles can absorb chemicals such as PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls) and PAH's (polychromatic hydrocarbons) that are in the air. So, while the carbon black particles are non-toxic, they can concentrate and carry and deposit toxic chemicals in the lung as we breathe.
To eliminate these "second-hand" exposures, most industries have the workers change clothing on arrival and departure from work. The contaminated clothing is handled and laundered by personnel who are trained and who are provided the necessary protective clothing to prevent exposure. Many times showers are available for the workers to cleanse the skin and hair from any remaining particles. In this way, families are spared the "second-hand" exposure.
Brought to you by - The 'Lectric Law Library
The Net's Finest Legal Resource For Legal Pros & Laypeople Alike.