Researchers and medical professionals have long documented the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. If you make your living working in certain New Jersey work environments, you may face a higher risk of exposure to the known carcinogen. Asbestos causes mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer of the membranes that line your chest and abdomen. Links also exist between asbestos exposure and your chances of developing colorectal, stomach and pharynx cancers, among others. 

According to Cancer.gov, your risks of developing an asbestos-related disease as a result of your working conditions increases alongside the amount and length of your asbestos exposure. 

Industries where workers face high risks

You may face a heightened chance of developing cancer or another asbestos-related disease if you work in construction as a drywall remover, demolition worker or asbestos removal worker. Before the late 1970s, asbestos appeared in many homes. So, your exposure risks increase when you work in homes constructed before this time. 

You also face a high risk of exposure and developing asbestos-related cancer if you work or worked in shipbuilding, asbestos mining and milling, or in the production of certain textiles. If you helped with rescue or recovery efforts following 9/11, you may have undergone exposure to asbestos while doing so. 

Symptoms of asbestos-related diseases

How might you know if you have asbestos-related cancer or another associated disease? A persistent and worsening cough is one common sign. Coughing up blood is another. Other common signs include loss of appetite, shortness of breath, tightening of your chest or swelling in your neck or face, among others.