Authorities have removed many dangerous chemicals from paint, such as lead. Others, such as toluene, benzene, xylene, glycol, and, especially between 1945 and 1980, asbestos. This fibrous mineral is, by far, the most effective available fireproof insulator. Even a tiny bit of asbestos in paint could make a difference in the event of fire. Additionally, asbestos thickens watery paint, making it more marketable. Painters also faced secondhand exposure risks. More on that below.


If you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, even as a child, speak to a healthcare provider about tests and screening to help diagnose lung-scarring and screen for asbestos-related diseases.

For decades, workers of all kinds were exposed to paint containing harmful asbestos.

Benefits usually come at a price, and asbestos is no exception. 

The price, in terms of public health, is so high that the government partially banned asbestos use in 1990. Other laws, including a total ban on asbestos in schools, go even further. Painters, who often wore little or no protective equipment, bear many of these health risks. In fact, painters have a higher risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos exposure-related illnesses than any other construction workers. More on that below as well.

Asbestos has no taste or smell.

You may not know you’re breathing it.

Image Asbestos Stonemasons2 article body

Most asbestos-containing paint has been banned from manufacture. But like lead paint, a lot of it is still out there in old buildings and other places.

Manufacturers started phasing out asbestos-laced paint in the 1980s. However, mesothelioma has over a forty-year latency period. Therefore, many 1970s and 1980s painters, as well as friends and loved ones who had close contact with them, only now show signs of illness. When a devastating medical diagnosis completely blindsides a victim, it’s hard to know where to turn. Reaching out to an asbestos exposure lawyer is always a good start. Attorneys help victims get the compensation they need and the justice they deserve.

People who worked in these industries prior the mid-1980s have a higher risk of developing asbestos-related diseases:

ConstructionFactoriesFoundriesRefineriesShipyardsMining / Milling
DemolitionInsulationSteelworkersPipe FittingShipbuildingMechanics
Image Asbestos Industrial Job1 article bodyImage Asbestos Industrial Job2 article bodyImage Asbestos Industrial Job3 article body
RoofingTextilesIron workersBoilersFirefightingBrake Repair
FlooringCementElectriciansGasket RepairRailroadHVAC

Unfortunately so do their families.

Asbestos Health Risks

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive kind of heart-lung cancer that’s impervious to most cancer diagnosis and treatment approaches.

Preventative cancer interventions were almost unheard of as recently as the 1980s. That might be the main reason the cancer fatality rate was so high back then. These preventative interventions include colon cancer screening for men, mammograms for women, and cervical cancer vaccines for girls. 

“The overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.”

Source: National Cancer Institute (NIH)1

These treatments obviously don’t detect or prevent all such cancers. But they do detect or prevent most of them.

Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive and painful condition. It usually has been progressing for decades before it can be detected.

There’s no low- or non-invasive mesothelioma test. There’s certainly no mesothelioma vaccine. Expensive screenings are available. But the likelihood of contracting mesothelioma is relatively small, so the cost doesn’t justify the benefit. Of course, the statistical likelihood is very small comfort to families affected by this terrible disease.

“Some asbestos fibers may bypass…your body’s natural defenses…and lodge deep within your lungs. Those fibers can remain in place for a very long time and may never be removed.”

Source: American Lung Association

Lifestyle and genetic markers also help doctors get a head start on many kinds of cancer. If Alice smokes or has a family history of lung cancer, there’s a good chance she’ll contract this disease as well. So, when initial cancer symptoms appear, like radical weight loss or fatigue, doctors spring into action.

Mesothelioma is an environmental cancer. It’s not a genetic or lifestyle disease. Therefore, when the aforementioned symptoms appear, cancer, and certainly not mesothelioma, isn’t on a doctor’s radar.

“Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after exposure.”

Source: National Cancer Institute (NIH)2

Image Asbestos painters risk article body

Baseball is a game of firsts. For example, if the pitcher throws a first-pitch strike, a .340 hitter becomes a .220 hitter. Likewise, cancer treatments are much more effective if doctors get a head start, something that’s impossible with mesothelioma.

  • Radiation: These treatments shrink tumors. Patients can tolerate some collateral radiation damage to one vital organ, like a kidney. But they cannot tolerate collateral damage to two vital organs, especially ones as vital as the heart and lungs.
  • Chemotherapy: These drugs kill cancer cells and other fast-dividing cells, which is why alopecia (hair loss) is a common chemotherapy side-effect. Patients usually have advanced mesothelioma at the time of diagnosis. Their bodies cannot tolerate powerful chemotherapy or other drugs. 
  • Surgery: If radiation and chemotherapy are effective, if doctors must perform surgery, tumors are small and localized. Since these treatments don’t affect mesothelioma, the tumor is large and aggressive. Surgery is basically a long shot in these situations.

For all these reasons, the five-year mesothelioma survival rate is so low we don’t want to print it in this blog.

The health risks of asbestos exposure can include:

Mesothelioma: cancer of the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue surrounding the body’s organs. This cancer is only known to be caused by asbestos exposure.Lung cancer
Laryngeal cancer: cancer of the larynx (section of the throat called the voicebox)Ovarian cancer
Stomach cancerColon cancer
Pharyngeal cancerAsbestosis: a chronic lung disease associated with asbestos exposure
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)Atelectasis (collapsed lung)
Pleural effusion (collection of fluid around the lungs)Pericardial effusion (collection of fluid around the heart)

Asbestosis and pleural plaque are the most common asbestos-related health problems.

As mentioned, mesothelioma is relatively rare. Pleural plaque, on the other hand, is relatively common. This condition affects about 60 percent of asbestos exposure victims. 

Mild pleural plaque is basically calcium buildup on ribs near the diaphragm. 

Symptoms of mild pleural plaque include pain and trouble breathing. Diffuse pleural thickening, an asbestos exposure condition aggravated by radiation, chest surgery, infection, and other factors, is a much more serious condition that’s similar to a long-term collapsed lung.

Outside factors often aggravate asbestos exposure illnesses. Smoking might be the best example. In these situations, an asbestos exposure lawyer can still obtain maximum compensation, because of the eggshell skull rule. Defendants cannot use victim vulnerabilities, even self-inflicted ones, as an excuse to reduce or deny compensation.

Sharing a home or vehicle with someone wearing asbestos-tainted clothing puts you at risk of asbestos-related diseases.3

Painter Primary and Secondary Asbestos Exposure

Between about 1945 and 1975, most painter asbestos exposure levels were between two and ten fibers per cubic centimeter (ccs). That’s as much as one hundred times higher than the OSHA-recommended asbestos exposure level. For naval vessel painters, the exposure level was twice as high, most likely because of inadequate ventilation. By the late 70s, asbestos protective measures, like protective masks and suits, took hold, and exposure levels plummeted. Unfortunately, that drop came far too late to help many asbestos exposure victims.

Actually, this protective equipment was already available. But, if employers mentioned the a-word at all, they insisted that asbestos was safe. Asbestos was so useful and so cheap that construction and other companies downplayed or ignored the health risks. Therefore, painters and other construction workers didn’t see the need to wear protective equipment.

“All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans.” 4

The asbestos coverup was so complete that, for decades, no one connected the dots. 

Now, these chickens have come home to roost, and an asbestos exposure lawyer can hold companies responsible for misbehavior they think they got away with.

Painters also faced secondary exposure risks. 

The substances that replaced asbestos, like vermiculite, often contained stray asbestos fibers. Additionally, painters often worked with pipes which contained asbestos.

These secondary exposure risks also affected non-painters. These workers often carried asbestos fibers home on their hair, clothes, or shoes. A single fiber could cause the aforementioned health conditions.

Do You Qualify For Compensation?

Quickly and easily find out how you were exposed by searching W.A.R.D., the largest asbestos database on the planet.


Your Legal Options

Many asbestos companies are no longer in business. They made so much money selling asbestos-laced products that they didn’t sell anything else. If the responsible company isn’t around anymore, asbestos exposure victims still have legal options.

Before they took the easy way out and closed their doors, these companies usually set up large victim compensation funds. Some VCFs are specifically for painters

Even lifelong smokers can collect compensation for asbestos damage.
Many of our clients believed they weren’t eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit because they were cigarette and cigar smokers.

This isn’t true under the laws of many states. 

Our database contains the medical evidence needed to show that smokers who are exposed to asbestos are far more likely to develop cancer than smokers who weren’t exposed to asbestos. Cigarettes and asbestos are far more dangerous than cigarettes or asbestos.
Even lifelong smokers can collect compensation for asbestos damage.
Many of our clients believed they weren’t eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit because hey were cigarette and cigar smokers.

This isn’t true under the laws of many states. 

Our database contains the medical evidence needed to show that smokers who are exposed to asbestos are far more likely to develop cancer than smokers who weren’t exposed to asbestos. Cigarettes and asbestos are far more dangerous than cigarettes or asbestos.

If available, an asbestos trust claim is generally the fastest and easiest way to obtain asbestos claim compensation.

Workers’ compensation and VA disability claims are often time-consuming and they don’t pay benefits to secondary exposure victims, at least in most cases. Civil claims are time-consuming as well. Additionally, adverse lawyers generally fight these claims tooth and nail.

Over $30 Billion is still available
(No lawsuit. No fees unless you receive money. No risk.)

Stake your claim.

Logo Asbestos Claims

VCF / Asbestos Trusts: Asbestos claims compensation with no lawsuit, no court fees, no risk.

VCF claims are not nearly as time-consuming. Primary and secondary exposure victims may file claims. And, a prima facie (preliminary) case is enough to obtain maximum compensation. Asbestos exposure victims have the first, last, and only word in VCF claims.

VCF claims aren’t all wine and roses. As mentioned, not all asbestos exposure victims are entitled to a share of the fund’s money. Additionally, VCF fund managers are very stingy negotiators. No approaching trial date or court supervision motivates them to negotiate in good faith. As a result, roadblocks and low-ball offers are common.

Civil claims, although more time-consuming, aren’t a bad fallback option. Most of these claims also settle out of court, mostly because the asbestos exposure health information, especially for painters, is now too great to ignore or downplay. These companies must now face the music.


At AsbestosClaims.Law, our mission to secure compensation for asbestos victims is more than professional; it’s personal.

Our founder, Justinian C. Lane, understands the devastating impacts of asbestos firsthand.

Both his grandparents and father, all asbestos workers, passed away from asbestos-induced cancers without realizing their eligibility for asbestos lawsuits or other forms of compensation.

We aim to prevent such tragic oversights by informing and guiding victims and their families through their legal options. 

If you or your loved ones have suffered as a result of asbestos exposure, you could be eligible for considerable compensation. These funds could provide for medical treatments, asbestos removal services, and safeguard your health. 

In addition, asbestos trusts offer compensation without the need for a lawsuit, providing a quicker, simpler path to justice.

Reach out to us at [email protected] or (206) 455-9190 for assistance with your claim. We offer compassionate listening, clear explanations, and we don’t charge a dime unless we win your case.

Beyond legal claims, we also advise on veterans’ disability, social security, and employment protection like workers’ compensation, FELA, and The Jones Act for maritime workers. 

There’s no risk or cost to connect with our experienced team about your rights. Our commitment to your well-being means no fees unless you receive compensation.

For further queries or concerns about asbestos, explore our website and YouTube page, featuring infographics, videos, and answers to common questions on asbestos-related topics.

We’ve also introduced W.A.R.D., the Worldwide Asbestos Research Database. It’s the most comprehensive resource for asbestos-related information.

W.A.R.D. assists in pinpointing potential exposure scenarios, asbestos-containing products, and can indicate the types and potential amounts of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Don’t delay — get in touch with us today!

1 National Cancer Institute (NIH), Asbestos Fact Sheet.
2 National Cancer Institute (NIH), Asbestos Fact Sheet.
3 Anua, S.M., Semple, S., Shakri, S.F.M., Safuan, S., Mazlan, N. and Asri, A.A.M., 2019. A review of the take-home exposure pathway of workplace hazards. International Journal of Medical Toxicology & Legal Medicine, 22(3and4), pp.13-19.
4 IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Arsenic, metals, fibres, and dusts. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. 2012 ;100(Pt C):11-465. PMID: 23189751.