Basically throughout human history asbestos has been used in the construction. There is even written account of it from the late 1st century. For nearly 2000 years man has been using asbestos, and they have known that it causes some serious problems when people are exposed to it for a prolonged period of time. However, it has not been since the 1970’s that the United States has taken action and banned the product (although there are still many instances where it is used). The primary reason for the ban? It is a known human carcinogen and can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, or mesothelioma. |
What is Mesothelioma?
Basically speaking, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos. This cancer begins in the lungs, but quickly spreads to the cells that line the organs of the lungs, heart, and other abdominal organs. This cancer is fast acting, hard to treat, and always fatal.
How Does Asbestos Exposure Lead to Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. This mineral, although natural, is easily broken down into small particles. Those who have worked in close proximity to asbestos for many years have been subjected to inhaling the particles. After inhalation, the asbestos becomes lodged in the lungs. Over the next 20 to 40 years those particles inflame, irritate, and damage the lungs. The vulnerable organs are then susceptible to cancerous cells, which will quickly take over. The damage is done decades ago, but the problems only show up long after the fact.
Who is at Risk?
The primary people at risk of excessive exposure to asbestos are those who worked for a company that did not properly warn them, or properly dispose of, the asbestos. This means those who worked in metal factories, chemical factories, and other manufacturing (or oil drilling) positions. These industries relied on asbestos heavily due to its incredible insulation and fire proof qualities. Day after day these workers would inhale the dust without knowing they were doing irreparable harm to their lungs. Only now, dozens of years later, do they realize what has happened.
What to do
If you have worked in an industrial setting, and you are now suffering from lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis, you can file a lawsuit against the company that you worked for. It is no different than if you broke your leg on the job and the company paid a worker’s comp claim; except that you didn’t know you were injured at the time. Contact a personal injury attorney and set up your free initial consultation.
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