The International Agency for Research on Cancer reported that asbestos was a carcinogen back in 1977, but people who were exposed to it decades ago are still experiencing its ill effects to this day.
Asbestos is a toxic mineral that causes different diseases, including mesothelioma. The fibers are heat and fire resistant, so they have been widely used by many industries. Construction, automotive, factory, mining, and shipyard workers are the kinds of employees most often exposed to asbestos, but it can also be found in schools and homes.
Up until the 1980s, hundreds of companies were using asbestos in manufacturing processes, in products, and in their buildings. Asbestos is known to be harmless when left undisturbed, but once the fibers are airborne, they can get into the lungs and remain dormant for decades and then develop into deadly diseases.
Asbestos exposure can cause different kinds of cancer, including:
Inhaling asbestos fibers can also cause non-cancerous diseases like asbestosis, when the lungs become scarred and oxygen and carbon dioxide cannot flow freely. Pleural disease causes the pleura to either thicken or retain fluid (pleural effusion), which can cause breathing problems and issues with lung function.
People who worked in the industries mentioned above before 1980 are more risk of developing mesothelioma since they had greater chances of being exposed to asbestos. Those who lived in regions where those kinds of industries were prevalent during that time might also want to consult with their physicians. Additional risk factors include:
Anyone concerned about asbestos exposure can contact a physician for an evaluation. These kinds of diagnoses can be devastating, and you can speak with a lawyer to see if your rights have been violated and if you are entitled to compensation.
Facing a life-threatening asbestos disease can be even worse when a negligent party is responsible. One of our Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler may be able to help with your asbestos case. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 215-569-4000. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.