Asbestos Exposure - Important Questions Answered

This article will answer many questions associated with asbestos exposure and how it is linked to mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses.

Many victims of mesothelioma cancer or asbestos-related illnesses are ill due to asbestos exposure. After diagnosis, questions are inevitably on the minds of those victims like what is asbestos and why is it bad? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral consisting of microscopic fibers that are fire resistant and very durable. Because of these traits, they were incorporated into hundreds of products including tiles, gaskets, roofing materials, joint compounds, insulation, brakes, fireproofing materials, plaster, wallboard, siding, refractory materials, and many others. Without even being aware of it, many workers were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis.

Microscopic fibers of the asbestos enter the body via the nose and mouth. Because of their shape, size and durability, they cause damage to the lungs and other organs. Several different health problems follow this damage as a result. Asbestos fibers do not dissolve, disappear or work their way out of tissues and instead remain in the vital organs for many years causing damage that leads to illness and disease many years after they are inhaled or swallowed.

Once you realize you have been exposed to asbestos, you may also ask yourself what types of diseases can this cause. Asbestos exposure can be the prelude to both cancerous and non-cancerous conditions. Cancerous conditions include mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer developing in the lining around the lung or abdominal cavity. This cancer can take decades to form after a person was first exposed to asbestos. This has also been identified as an origin to lung cancer. Smoking only increases the risk of an exposure victim developing lung cancer. Other cancers caused by asbestos exposureinclude: cancer of the stomach, larynx, esophagus, and colon.

Noncancerous asbestos-related illnesses can include:

  • Pleural thickening, pleural plaques or pleural calcification – scarring of the outer lining of the lungs. Scarring could become so severe that the lungs cannot expand to breathe.

  • Asbestosis – scarring of the actual lung tissue. It is an irreversible and leads to serious breathing problems.

Victims of asbestos exposure should also ask why wasn’t asbestos banned and how were they exposed if it’s a carcinogen? The answers might shock you. Restrictions regarding the use of asbestos only began in the 1970’s. Because no ban was ever put into place, asbestos products continued to be used. As of date, the US has not banned all uses of asbestos even though many developed countries have. Most victims succumbing to asbestos-related cancers or illnesses today were exposed to asbestos before restrictions were outlined.

Asbestos exposure for many victims means finding a reputable mesothelioma law firm and filing a lawsuit against the entity that was the culprit to the exposure. Thousands have sued and won.

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