Smithsonian museum lighting worker contracts asbestosis from toxic walls.
Washington, D.C. (MesotheliomaCancerNews.com)–A 27 year lighting worker, employed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, allegedly contracted asbestosis from toxic asbestos laden walls at the Washington museum. Richard Pullman the 53 year-old employee for the museum has filed a federal workplace safety complaint and hired a lawyer who litigates asbestos injury claims since his recent asbestos related illness diagnosis.
As reported by the Washington Post, apparently the museum provided a group of workers, including Pullman, an educational briefing on “asbestos awareness” approximately one year ago. Pullman was shocked when he was informed the museum’s walls contained asbestos. Part of Pullman’s job providing specialized lighting for the national historic museum’s displays required cutting, drilling, sawing and sanding into the asbestos loaded walls. When asbestos fibers are released into the air and inhaled by workers the exposure to the toxic fibers can cause asbestos related illnesses like asbestosis and mesothelioma lung cancer.
Federal laws require employers and supervisors to educate workers about asbestos safety and provide employees with protective gear. Pullman had been experiencing shortness of breath, so after the asbestos awareness education session, he went to his doctor for an evaluation. He was diagnosed with asbestosis, a lung disease caused by breathing asbestos fibers. According to industry experts, direct and secondary exposure to asbestos containing products causes the greatest risk of illness to workers, especially those who are not wearing protective wear. Smithsonian consultant reports determined the asbestos walls to be harmless if left undisturbed. The report also stated workers needed to be alerted, educated, and provided with the proper protective equipment. Smithsonian lawyers and Pullman’s asbestos injury attorney are now involved in a legal dispute over the toxic exposure to the asbestos fibers Pullman was subjected to for almost three decades.