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What Are the Dangers of Asbestos Exposure?

Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Represent Plaintiffs Suffering From Asbestos-Related Diseases.

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.

What Diseases Are Caused by Asbestos?

Asbestos exposure can cause different kinds of cancer, including:

  • Pleural mesothelioma: This is cancer of the lining of the lungs (pleura) that is caused by inhaling the fibers.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma: Also malignant, this cancer develops in the tissue lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) and is caused by ingesting asbestos fibers. Patients experience swelling of the abdomen, nausea, and stomach pain.
  • Lung cancer: This is the main cause of cancer deaths in this country and can be related to asbestos exposure. The symptoms of lung cancer include chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, and weight loss.
  • Laryngeal cancer: Asbestos is linked to an increased risk of laryngeal cancer. This cancer affects the tissue around the vocal cords, commonly known as the voice box. This disease presents with a persistent cough, sore throat, and sometimes ear pain.
  • Ovarian cancer: Asbestos exposure has also been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The symptoms are frequent urinary urgency, abdominal pain, bloating, and a constant feeling of fullness.

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.

Am I at Risk for an Asbestos-Related Disease?

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:

  • How frequently and for how long the exposure occurred.
  • Current lung or breathing issues.
  • How much asbestos was in the air.
  • How much time passed since the exposure.

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.

Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Represent Plaintiffs Suffering From Asbestos-Related Diseases

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.