Mesothelioma & Asbestosis
Have You Been Wrongfully Exposed to Asbestos?
One of the oldest and most infamous personal injury torts in the world, asbestos exposure is still affecting people nearly a century after it was first discovered to cause a unique form of lung cancer. If a loved one has ever suffered from mesothelioma, then they suffered from asbestos exposure—mesothelioma has no other known causes.
If you are looking for an attorney to take up your case, give Arnold & Itkin a call. We can determine your odds in court and help you get the medical support you need. Our firm has been involved in some of the biggest injury cases nationwide, and we have secured billions of dollars for our clients. Below, our firm has provided a brief primer on asbestos exposure and how/why it causes lung disease.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the name for a group of minerals that have been found to occur naturally together. They are silicate compounds and have been found to have similar properties amongst them, including a resistance to heat, an inability to conduct electricity, and tensile strength. The mineral is fibrous, which is important for reasons we discuss below. These properties made them popular as insulation material in factories, as it was relatively resistant to most conditions common to industrial work.
They were also affordable—which made them an attractive option in the construction, shipbuilding, and automotive industries during the Industrial Revolution. During this time, they became commonplace in insulation material, manufactured goods (e.g. brake pads), as well as plaster, dry wall, and even concrete and bricks.
An Immediate Pattern of Exposure & Fatal Illness
Unfortunately, as early as the late 19th century, there was a demonstrable link between asbestos exposure and early death, as well as respiratory issues. This culminated in the 1970s when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned all asbestos use in wallboard patching compounds and gas fireplaces. During this time, certain companies quit using them voluntarily. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses and implemented regulations for inspecting buildings.
Since the first warnings signs of asbestos exposure, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, EPA, and the International Agency for Research have officially classified asbestos as a known carcinogen.
Explaining the Health Hazards of Asbestos Exposure
Both mesothelioma and asbestosis result from asbestos’ unique properties. Because the mineral is made of microscopic fibers that are practically indestructible and do not break down easily (if at all), some of these strands can get inhaled into the lungs, where they embed themselves permanently within the walls of the lungs.
The silicate fibers irritate the flesh and forms scar tissue—which affects the way that lungs move during breathing. This results in not only pain, but coughing and shortness of breath that worsens with age. This is asbestosis. The development of scar tissue can eventually lead to tumor growth, when the condition becomes mesothelioma.
Here’s the difficult thing about asbestos exposure: Mesothelioma can take as long as 50 years to develop. It can be difficult to prove where and when the asbestos exposure caused it, which can severely complicate a personal injury claim.
For this reason, it is extremely important that should you find yourself suffering from symptoms of lung problems or have wrongfully lost a loved one, do not hesitate to get the involvement of a lawyer to help evaluate your claim, build a case, and fight for you. Call (888) 493-1629 today.