During the twentieth century, some 30 million tons of asbestos were used in industrial sites, homes, schools, shipyards and commercial buildings in the United States. Many asbestos-containing products remain in buildings, ships, industrial facilities and other environments where the fibers can become airborne. It is even possible that you could have been exposed by a family member, because microscopic asbestos fibers on their clothing can come off in your home.
Asbestos exposure is also responsible for several other serious health problems. Pleural Disease, Lung Cancer and Asbestosis are all linked to asbestos contamination.
Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is the most serious asbestos causing disease. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that make up the lining around the outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs (pleura), or around the abdominal organs (peritoneum). For many years asbestos manufacturers have claimed that cigarette smoking caused mesothelioma, however medical research has clearly proven that mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure.
There are currently about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed per year, mostly in men over the age of 40. It is estimated that there will be about 250,000 cases of mesothelioma before 2020. Mesothelioma has a latency period of 20 to 50 years after the first exposure to asbestos. That means that if you worked around asbestos 50 years ago, you could be developing mesothelioma now.
Asbestosis is a non-cancerous condition caused by exposure to asbestos. It is caused by asbestos fibers that become lodged in the lungs. As the lungs try to protect the body from these foreign bodies, scar tissue develops and diminishes the lung’s capacity for oxygen.
Asbestosis is a progressive disease: as the scarring of the lungs gets worse, the lungs’ vital capacity continues to decrease. Asbestosis can cause severe shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and lead to heart problems. Asbestosis may also be present in people suffering from asbestos-caused cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Legal Help for Victims of Asbestos Exposure
If you or a loved one suffered side effects from Asbestos, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified pollutants attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).