Asbestos Exposure: Safety, Levels and Risk of Injury

There is no known safe level of asbestos exposure, but greater exposure—both in duration and amounts—has been linked with greater risk of developing asbestos-related disease. Government agencies use "proportionate mortality ratio" or PMR to measure the relative risk of asbestos disease in various industries. PMR compares the overall death rates of a specific group to deaths within that group caused by a specific disease or injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), show a significant proportionate mortality ratio (PMR) with respect to mesothelioma in industries such as:

  • ship and boat building and repair
  • industrial and miscellaneous chemicals
  • petroleum refining
  • electric light and power
  • construction

In addition to these industries, occupations that reveal a significant PMR include plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; mechanical engineers; electricians; and elementary school teachers. Asbestos also puts these industries and occupations at increased risk for asbestosis, lung cancer, colon cancer, and throat cancer.


The content provided on these pages is provided for informational purposes only. Worksites are included in our database through a variety of means; inclusion does not mean that asbestos products, materials, or other asbestos exposures necessarily occurred at that location.

No guarantee of recovery from an individual company or manufacturer is implied by their inclusion on these pages. GPW Attorneys are licensed in: Arizona, District of Columbia, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and U.S. Supreme Court.


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