What Types of Injuries Are Caused by Asbestos
How Asbestos Affects the Body
Asbestos was previously used widely in the automotive, construction, power generation, chemical, refining, steel, aluminum, and related industries due to the fact that it is resistant to fire, heat and chemicals, and is not an electricity conductor. Although the use of asbestos has declined since the 1980s, there are still many products containing asbestos in the market today. Such products may be in your home or place of work, elevating the risk for dangerous asbestos exposure.
When products containing asbestos are disturbed, manipulated, installed, or removed, they can release small fibers into the air. When these fibers are inhaled, they can enter the lungs and become trapped there for many years. As time goes on, these tiny needles of fibers can accumulate and cause severe health issues.
Types of Injuries/Illnesses Associated with Asbestos
There are several medical conditions associated with asbestos exposure. The most well-known is mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer that directly affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, testicles, and ovaries. Unlike other types of cancer, mesothelioma has a particularly long latency period, and may not present symptoms until decades after exposure to asbestos has occurred.
While mesothelioma is likely the most known asbestos-related disease or illness, exposure to asbestos can lead to a host of other medical issues, including asbestosis, which is an inflammatory disorder of the lungs that leads to shortness of breath and coughing. Eventually, asbestosis can cause significant scarring in the lungs and other permanent lung damage, which can make it increasingly difficult for patients to breathe. Asbestos exposure can also cause pleural plaques, which result from membranes in the lungs thickening and causing restrictive airways disease.
Lung cancer is also a common occurrence in those who have experienced asbestos exposure. Importantly, asbestos-related lung cancer can occur in individuals who smoked and in individuals who did not smoke. Indeed, research has clearly documented that for workers exposed to asbestos who also smoked, they are at a significantly increased risk for developing asbestos-related lung cancer than individuals who simply smoked.
Are Asbestos Products Still Around?
As a result of its cancer-causing properties, asbestos has been officially categorized as a known carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency. However, asbestos has not been completely banned in the United States. Many other countries have, however, banned the deadly substance.
Exposure to asbestos often occurs in the workplace, and can be a significant concern for those employed in industries such as power generation, chemical facilities, steel mills, refineries, or garages where significant amounts of asbestos were used.
Some products containing asbestos are some of the most commonly used building materials, including:
- Joint Compounds
- Floor tiles
- Wall coatings or coverings
- Ceiling tiles
If these materials were manufactured prior to the 1980s, then it is possible that they still contain asbestos. If you are planning any home or office remodeling on buildings constructed before that period, it is best to consult with qualified professionals, or those who are trained to handle asbestos materials.
Finding Legal Assistance
If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, then it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Only an attorney focusing on asbestos-related cases can evaluate your situation and determine the best strategy to recover compensation and other damages from those responsible for your illness.
That’s where the highly skilled attorneys at Antion McGee Law Group, PLLC come in.
Antion McGee Law Group PLLC
Our firm handles cases that involve asbestos exposure, including those where there has been a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. We have worked with clients who were exposed to asbestos on the job, and those who have had exposures to asbestos as a result of the work of family members or asbestos products in the home. No matter what the circumstances are in your case, our team is committed to working with you to locate all sources of asbestos exposure.
Our attorneys are prepared to advocate on your behalf today. To schedule a preliminary consultation to discuss your asbestos case with a member of our legal team, call the Antion McGee Law Group, PLLC today at (304) 807-0739. Our attorneys will gladly come to you.