There is currently more than 30 billion dollars sitting in asbestos trust funds for individuals that were exposed to this toxic material. Asbestos has been linked to many serious illnesses such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, throat cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, and colon cancer. In addition to these serious illnesses, asbestos exposure has been linked to the chronic illness known as asbestosis.
Asbestosis is a lung disease that develops when asbestos fibers cause scarring in your lungs. The scarring restricts your breathing and interferes with the ability of oxygen to enter your bloodstream. Other names for this disease are pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial pneumonitis.
Many cases originate from workplace exposure to asbestos before federal laws regulating it were enacted in the mid-1970s. This disease takes years to develop and can be life threatening.
The total number of asbestos-related deaths in the United States may exceed 200,000 by the year 2030, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Recognizing the symptoms of asbestosis
In most cases, symptoms don’t start to appear until approximately 20 years (in the range of 10 to 40 years) after exposure to asbestos.
Common symptoms of asbestosis include:
- shortness of breath
- tightness in chest
- persistent dry cough
- chest pain
- appetite loss
- finger clubbing (enlarged fingertips)
- nail deformities
Causes and risk factors associated with asbestosis
When you inhale asbestos fibers, they can become embedded in your lungs and lead to the formation of scar tissue. This scarring is known as asbestosis.
The scarring can make it difficult for you to breathe because it prevents your lung tissue from expanding and contracting normally.
You may face a higher risk for developing the disease if you worked in an industry associated with asbestos before federal laws to regulate exposure were put into place. Asbestos was commonly found in construction and fireproofing jobs.
Asbestos is still used in certain industries, but it’s closely monitored by the government through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
You also face a much higher chance of developing asbestosis and other related diseases if you smoke.
Testing for and diagnosing asbestosis
Your doctor will perform several tests to learn whether you have asbestosis and to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms.
First, your doctor will usually use a stethoscope to listen for abnormal breath sounds as part of a physical exam. Your doctor may also order X-rays to look for a white or honeycomb appearance on your lungs or chest.
Pulmonary (lung) function tests may be used to measure the amount of air you can inhale and the airflow to and from your lungs.
Your doctor might also test to see how much oxygen is transferred from your lungs to your bloodstream. CT scans can be used to examine your lungs in more detail.
Your doctor might also order a biopsy to look for asbestos fibers in a sample of your lung tissue.
So, Does Asbestosis Qualify Me for Compensation?
Yes, individuals that have been diagnosed with asbestosis may qualify for compensation. Our team works with those who have spent a significant amount of time working with asbestos recover money that has been set aside in trusts. If you were employed by a railroad company prior to 1982 and have been diagnosed with asbestosis, reach out to our law firm today.
Free Asbestos Exposure Consultation in United States
At Sammons & Berry, P.C. we offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, so you can discuss the facts of your case without paying for anything upfront. Asbestos trusts claims do not require a lawsuit, depositions, or courtrooms. The process is simple and easy for the client and should not require any stressful legal confrontations for the client. The law firm handles all of the claims for the client, helping you maximize your compensation.
We do not accept any payments from our clients until they receive compensation. We charge on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay a percentage of what you get paid in your claim. If we are unable to collect anything for you, there is no cost to you.
Call (800) 519-1440 to speak with a Sammons and Berry, P.C. representative and start your journey towards compensation.
Wrongful Death Claims For Families of Asbestos Victims
If you have lost someone in your family due to the harmful exposure of asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation. If you can provide the work history and a death certificate for your loved one, our attorneys can help you file an asbestos claim. We understand how difficult this process can be, this is why we work with you every step of the way to help you get the money you deserve. Reach out to our team today to learn more about filing a claim for a family member.