Secondary asbestos exposure occurs when a person is exposed to asbestos fibers that someone else’s activity generated. For example, a husband works for a railroad and unknowingly brings asbestos fibers home on his clothing. His wife handles this clothing while laundering and is exposed to those fibers. Even hugging a family member who has asbestos fibers on their clothing can cause secondary asbestos exposure.
Secondary asbestos exposure is just as dangerous as working directly with materials that contain the asbestos because even limited exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos fibers can be transferred onto vehicles, backpacks, lunchboxes, and even the family pets.