The victims of serious health issues caused by inhaling dangerous mineral fibers are not limited to the workplace. Asbestos injuries traditionally have been associated with Pennsylvania employees who worked in environments, year after year, where asbestos products were used or manufactured. Evidence now points to indirect instances of exposure.
Diagnoses of mesothelioma – a life-threatening cancer of the linings of the heart, abdomen, chest cavity or lungs – have been made among people who've lived near asbestos sources, like factories and mines. Relatives and others who shared households with exposed workers also developed the cancer, after coming in contact with asbestos fibers on workers' bodies and clothes. Other victims, entirely outside industrial settings, also have reported asbestos-related diseases.