If your loved one is suddenly diagnosed with a dangerous condition such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may feel frightened and confused. Unfortunately, you may also soon learn that your loved one’s condition was caused by exposure to the toxic mineral asbestos. This exposure could have come in many forms, including performing work-related duties. Fortunately, these victims may be entitled to compensation.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a term used to refer to a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. Asbestos was used for many years in a number of different domestic, commercial, and industrial capacities because it is extremely durable and fire resistant. It was often used in the following products:
- Roofing shingles
- Floor tiles
- Ceiling materials
- Cement compounds
- Textile products
- Automotive parts
Asbestos has six primary sub-classifications; namely, chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. Of these six sub-classifications, chrysotile and amosite asbestos are the most common.
We now know today that asbestos is a toxic mineral, and exposure has been directly and scientifically linked to several severe and dangerous lung and respiratory health conditions. As a result, its use is now strictly regulated. Unfortunately, these regulations come too late for the thousands of Americans who have already been exposed and could still face health ramifications.
Why Is Asbestos So Dangerous?
Asbestos is dangerous because it presents a significant threat to our health and safety. It is a human carcinogen that is easily inhaled. Once it has been inhaled, the asbestos fibers cling to the respiratory system. This includes the lining of the lungs as well as the inner cavity tissue. From there, they become lodged and are not easily expelled or broken down in the body. This material is so hazardous that no amount of exposure can be deemed safe, and there is no “safe” type of asbestos. Anyone who has had a history of being exposed to this material is potentially at risk for life-threatening health complications. Three of the most common complications resulting from exposure include:
- Lung cancer
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that develops in the lung and the mesothelium. It originates in three locations, with the lining of the lungs being the most common. It can also arise, however, in the lining of the abdominal cavity or the lining of the heart.
Lung cancer is another common complication resulting from asbestos exposure. Symptoms of this type of cancer include coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Asbestosis is not a form of cancer; however, it is a degenerative and progressive long-term respiratory condition. It results when scar tissue plaques form on the visceral surface of the pleura. It can be a pre-cursor to mesothelioma.
Who Is at Risk?
Anyone who was exposed to any amount of asbestos is at risk of developing complications. However, those who worked in certain industries prior to 1980 are more likely to have encountered this dangerous substance. These industries include the following:
- Ship building
- Commercial product manufacturing
- Power plants
What Should I Do If I Have Been Exposed?
While anyone who was exposed to this substance is at risk, not everyone will develop an asbestos-related illness. If you or a family member is diagnosed with lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis, we strongly encourage you to contact an attorney as soon as possible. It is also important to choose a law firm that has a history of handling this specific type of case. An experienced attorney can help you conclude whether or not your condition likely arose from your asbestos exposure by asking questions about your work history, jobs, work environments, and other relevant aspects of your life.
When it comes to legal claims relating to asbestos exposure, it is important to act quickly. We encourage you to contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm today at 1-888-690-0211 for a complimentary case evaluation.