New medical conditions are discovered and identified every year. Libby amphibole disease, a condition related to exposure to a specific type of asbestos, was recently discovered and is currently being researched further with funding from The Centers for Disease Control. Existing research about the condition was published in The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in December 2017.
Libby amphibole disease is linked to exposure to amphibole asbestos, a specific type of asbestos mined almost exclusively in or near Libby, Montana from 1919 to 1990. It is not a form of cancer. Rather, it is a pulmonary disease that causes pleural thickening that suffocates the lungs. It harms patients much quicker than mesothelioma and other cancers associated with asbestos exposure. It is also quite different from these conditions in its diagnostic signals, which can make it difficult for doctors to diagnose and treat.
Amphibole is a category of asbestos that includes five specific minerals:
The bulk of the amphibole asbestos mined near Libby was mixed with vermiculite and used to manufacture insulation. Thousands of people, consisting of miners and individuals who lived near the mines, have suffered from illnesses associated with exposure to the asbestos and hundreds have suffered fatal injuries. Since 2000, the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) has operated a program for individuals afflicted with Libby amphibole disease that includes regular monitoring.
The research discussed above was a joint project by researchers from Montana State University, the University of Montana, Mount Sinai Health System, Northwell Health in New York, and the CARD program. They found that 87 percent of the miners who were exposed to the mineral during their careers exhibited pleural abnormalities, and 68 percent exhibited lamellar pleural thickening, a telltale sign of the condition. This research described the condition’s symptoms in far greater detail than any previous research conducted. Ideally, it will be used to aid in the diagnosis of patients who lived and worked in other environments where amphibole asbestos was and still is in use.
When most people think of illnesses related to asbestos exposure, they think of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, the soft lining around the lungs and other organs that protects them from impact. Mesothelioma and Libby amphibole disease are not the only illnesses an individual can contract from prolonged exposure to asbestos. Other conditions linked to asbestos exposure include:
If you were diagnosed with any of the conditions discussed above after facing prolonged asbestos exposure, speak with an experienced Philadelphia asbestos lawyer to learn more about your rights and your legal options for seeking compensation for your related damages. Fill out our online form or call 215-569-4000 today to schedule your initial consultation with our team at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our office is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.