When can asbestos be ingested through drinking water?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | asbestos

We’ve all seen enough examples of cities in the U.S. with water that’s too contaminated to drink to know that the safety of drinking water is often dependent on how good an area’s infrastructure is. As that infrastructure gets older, if it’s not repaired or replaced, water lines begin to corrode. 

That means any number of contaminants can enter the area’s drinking water. One of those is sometimes asbestos.

Most people are exposed to asbestos by inhaling fibers when working around it – for example during renovations of older buildings. This is how mesothelioma affecting the lungs can occur.

However, these fibers can also be ingested. That can happen if asbestos has gotten into the water supply. When it enters the body that way, mesothelioma can develop in the abdomen. That’s known as peritoneal mesothelioma. It’s a less common – but also potentially less deadly – form of the disease.

How else can asbestos enter the water supply?

In addition to outdated infrastructure, asbestos can also get into the water supply through natural deposits that can occur when things like floods, landslides and earthquakes disrupt the ground and the natural asbestos deposits in it. Asbestos debris can also enter the water supply when demolition of structures after these and other disasters, like a fire, occur.

It’s also possible that a home’s individual water supply can contain asbestos if the pipes are older (dating back prior to the 1980s when asbestos largely stopped being used in the U.S.) Pipes were often made of asbestos cement. These pipes, if in good condition, may not be dangerous. However, if they rupture or are disturbed by construction or events like those we just mentioned, asbestos fibers can make their way into the water system.

This is just one more factor to consider if someone develops mesothelioma without a history of working or living around it. If they’re exposed to it regularly in their drinking water over a long period, it could potentially lead to mesothelioma and other serious health issues.

If you or a loved one is dealing with mesothelioma, it’s important to look at the factors that could have caused it. This can help you seek compensation to deal with the expenses and financial losses that mesothelioma can bring. Having experienced legal guidance can help increase your chances of getting this compensation.