Asbestos exposure can lead to serious health conditions. Here are your legal options if you or a loved one have been affected. Call (314) 361-4300 for a FREE consultation.
Asbestos is a silicate mineral that occurs naturally and may be used to manufacture shingles, floor tiles, paper, and heat-resistant fabrics. It’s often useful for its strength, affordability, and heat resistance. However, it’s an extremely harmful carcinogenic substance leading to 1,290 deaths annually in the US.
Unfortunately, workers in the construction and manufacturing industry are more at risk of asbestos exposure since it’s a staple in their particular niche. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the many dangers of asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive and deadly cancer affecting the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin layer of skin that covers most of your internal organs. Most workers suffer from pleural mesothelioma, which affects the pleural mesothelium that covers the lungs.
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty catching your breath
- Unexplained weight loss
- Painful coughs
- Lumps under the skin beneath your chest
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
- Swelling and pain in the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
Given how aggressive mesothelioma is, seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms, especially if you suspect asbestos exposure. Early diagnosis of mesothelioma might just save your life.
Excessive exposure to asbestos increases your chances of getting lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the country, accounting for one in every five cancer deaths in the US. Inhaling tiny asbestos fibers irritates the lungs and increases the likelihood of getting lung cancer.
Workers who smoke tobacco regularly are more at risk of contracting lung cancer when exposed to asbestos. Some common symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Painful and incessant coughing
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid, unexplained weight loss
Like with mesothelioma, early diagnosis of lung cancer goes a long way towards stopping the cancer from spiraling out of control. Visit your doctor if you notice abnormal coughing or chest pains that won’t go away. These may be early signs of lung cancer.
Asbestosis describes a chronic lung complication caused by long term inhalation of asbestos fibers. These fibers cause thickening and scarring of lung cells, leading to shortness of breath. However, most asbestosis symptoms only occur years after exposure to asbestos fibers. Symptoms of asbestosis include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen fingertips in severe cases.
Asbestosis generally isn’t as fatal as lung cancer and mesothelioma but can lead to death in severe cases. Talk to your doctor if you notice sudden shortness of breath and persistent coughing. You might have to take a few days off to mitigate the asbestosis symptoms.
Secondhand Asbestos Exposure
Secondhand asbestos exposure is rapidly growing as a major cause of malignant mesothelioma. Firsthand asbestos exposure gives way to secondary asbestos exposure when an exposed family member comes home from the workplace. For example, family members handling laundry directly exposed to asbestos can suffer from asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. It has been found that secondhand asbestos exposure is a direct cause of fatal asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
People residing close to factories, power plants, oil refineries, steel mills, or other industrial sites that use asbestos may also be at risk of secondhand asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers can easily travel through the air and settle on surfaces where they can remain for a long time. When these fibers are disturbed, they become airborne again, and anyone nearby can inhale them.
Children may also be at risk of secondhand asbestos exposure, particularly if they live in homes with asbestos-containing materials or attend schools built with asbestos-containing materials. Children may also be exposed to asbestos fibers through their parents’ work clothes, hair, or skin.
Secondhand asbestos exposure is a serious health concern affecting workers, their families, and communities. If you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to speak to your doctor and get a medical evaluation. Additionally, if you work in an industry that uses asbestos or live near a site that uses asbestos, it is crucial to take safety precautions to minimize the risk of exposure.
Speak With a St. Louis Asbestos Exposure Attorney
If you have lost a loved one to mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit can help you get compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, and other losses.
Choosing an experienced mesothelioma lawyer is crucial when filing a lawsuit. A good mesothelioma lawyer should have extensive experience handling cases and a deep understanding of the legal system. They should also have a proven track record of winning mesothelioma cases and securing compensation for their clients.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos, it is crucial to take action now. Asbestos exposure can lead to serious and life-threatening diseases such as mesothelioma, and it is important to seek justice and compensation for your suffering. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those affected by asbestos exposure.
Don’t wait to seek legal help if you or a loved one have been affected by asbestos exposure. Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann today for a free consultation.
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