A common misconception is that those exposed to asbestos are only at risk for developing lung cancer or mesothelioma. This is not true, there are several types of cancers including throat cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, and colon cancer that are also associated with asbestos exposure. Additionally, an illness known as asbestosis is commonly found in individuals with significant exposure to this toxic material. Is asbestosis a form of cancer? No, however it is a chronic disease.
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Prolonged exposure to these fibers can cause lung tissue scarring and shortness of breath. Asbestosis symptoms can range from mild to severe, and usually don’t appear until many years after initial exposure.
Asbestos is a natural mineral product that’s resistant to heat and corrosion. It was used extensively in the past in products such as insulation, cement and some floor tiles.
Most people with asbestosis acquired it on the job before the federal government began regulating the use of asbestos and asbestos products in the 1970s. Today, its handling is strictly regulated. Getting asbestosis is extremely unlikely if you follow your employer’s safety procedures. Only trained and accredited asbestos professionals should manage asbestos products. Treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms.
Causes of Asbestosis
If you are exposed to high levels of asbestos dust over a long period of time, some of the airborne fibers can become lodged within your alveoli — the tiny sacs inside your lungs where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide in your blood. The asbestos fibers irritate and scar lung tissue, causing the lungs to become stiff. This makes it difficult to breathe.
As asbestosis progresses, more and more lung tissue becomes scarred. Eventually, your lung tissue becomes so stiff that it can’t contract and expand normally.
Smoking appears to increase the retention of asbestos fibers in the lungs, and often results in a faster progression of the disease.
Risk factors of Asbestosis
People who worked in mining, milling, manufacturing, and installation or removal of asbestos products before the late 1970s are at highest risk of asbestosis. Examples include:
- Asbestos miners
- Aircraft and auto mechanics
- Boiler operators
- Building construction workers
- Railroad workers
- Refinery and mill workers
- Shipyard workers
- Workers removing asbestos insulation around steam pipes in older buildings
Risk of asbestosis is generally related to the amount and the duration of exposure to asbestos. The greater the exposure is, the greater the risk is of lung damage.
Secondhand exposure is possible for household members of exposed workers, as asbestos fibers may be carried home on clothing. People living close to mines may also be exposed to asbestos fibers released into the air.
What Should I Do if I Worked with Asbestos?
If you worked closely with asbestos or asbestos containing materials it is important that you understand you are at increased risk for developing asbestos related disease. This means, you need to stay on top of routine health checkups with your physician. Let them know about the time your spent working with asbestos and any changes you may have in your health as they develop.
If a physician has diagnosed you with cancer or asbestosis our team of attorneys wants to hear from you. We work with individuals and their families to get compensation for the time they spent unfairly exposed to this toxic material. 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.