It is fairly common knowledge that mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the mesothelium, is linked to prolonged exposure to asbestos. This is why many individuals who are diagnosed with mesothelioma worked in industries that exposed them o asbestos on a regular basis, either working directly with the mineral or in environments where asbestos was present.
By the 1980s, asbestos was banned from being used in most materials and consumer products. Despite this, individuals who were exposed to asbestos even decades ago continue to be diagnosed with the disease. This is because mesothelioma has a latency period of 20 to 50 years, which means that it can develop long after the individual is exposed to asbestos. Do not assume that because your exposure to asbestos occurred long ago in the past, you are not at risk of developing mesothelioma. Discuss your risk factors with your doctor and be aware of the early symptoms of the disease.
Researchers from a group of Italian universities recently published their findings about the biopersistence of asbestos fibers. When an object is biopersistent, this means it is very difficult for the body to rid itself of that object. Researchers sought to determine a point in time following asbestos exposure that an individual’s risk of developing mesothelioma dropped, but found that there is no such point. Unlike an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer, which starts to drop 25 years after an individual’s exposure to harmful inhaled chemicals, the risk of developing pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma remains the same decades after exposure to asbestos.
In addition to asbestos exposure, certain genetic factors raise an individual’s risk of developing mesothelioma. Your doctor can explain these to you along with lifestyle factors that could affect your risk, such as whether you are a smoker.
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma in Pennsylvania after working in a career where you were exposed to asbestos, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages via an asbestos exposure claim. Work with our team of Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to learn more about your rights and legal options. Complete our online form or call us at 215-569-4000 or toll-free at 1-800-369-0899 to set up your initial consultation in our Philadelphia offices. We work with clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County, as well as South Jersey.