You may picture victims of on-the-job respiratory illnesses surrounded by clouds of toxic dust day after day, year after year. That mental image represents the setting for some sickened workers but is not representative of all victims of asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos injuries have been reported by employees in a surprising number of other occupations.
Almost everyone in Pittsburgh breathes or ingests asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral, although the rate of exposure differs from person to person. People working with asbestos products, particularly over long periods, are at a higher risk of developing serious or deadly health problems, like mesothelioma, than people with casual exposure.