What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral found in rocks and soil. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance, asbestos has been used widely in building materials and other commercial products for insulation and as a fire retardant. Old and brittle asbestos products can release tiny, microscopic, fibers. These fibers can remain suspended in the air and enter your lungs when you inhale. These inhaled fibers can cause lung damage, including cancer. Because of its health risks, asbestos manufacturing and use is now regulated by the federal government.
Asbestos in the Railroad Industry
Before asbestos became more regulated it was frequently used in the railroad industry as late as the 1980s. More specifically, asbestos was used to insulate materials on steam locomotives and diesel locomotives. This included boilers, the outside of the train’s engine, under the metal body of the train, in boxcars, ceilings of cabooses, pipe coverings, electrical panels, and the driving cabins and carriages.
Railroad employees working before 1982 are at high-risk for developing asbestos-related illness as a result of their time working around this dangerous material. The issue is that microscopic fibers would become airborne, making them easy to inhale or ingest. Once asbestos fibers work their way into the body, they can easily become trapped, permanently embedding into soft tissue. This can lead to genetic mutations and permanent scarring.
Money is available for railroad workers that have been exposed to asbestos and have since developed health problems. This can even include shortness of breath or internal scarring that you may not be aware of. Our attorneys work with those who were employed by the railroad industry to recover the compensation they deserve.
How Asbestos Impacts Health
When you inhale asbestos, the tiny fibers enter your air passages. Your body’s natural defenses remove most of these fibers. The majority will be carried away or coughed up in a layer of mucus that protects your lungs. However, some fibers may bypass those defenses and lodge deep within your lungs. Those fibers can remain in place for a very long time and may never be removed. Most of the harmful impacts of asbestos will not be seen immediately. They often develop years after exposure occurs.
Asbestos can cause cancer. Inhaling asbestos fibers increases the risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the thin lining surrounding the lungs and other organs. The risk depends on how much you inhale, how long ago you were exposed and whether you have a smoking history. Smoking, combined with asbestos exposure, increases your chances of developing lung cancer.
Exposure to high concentrations of airborne asbestos over long periods can also create scar tissue in the lungs, in a condition called asbestosis. The scar tissue does not behave like normal, healthy lung tissue and makes breathing difficult. Asbestosis is a very serious and life-threatening disease. Fortunately, most people who are only exposed to moderate levels of asbestos are not likely to develop these serious diseases.
Free Asbestos Exposure Consultation for Victims in Chicago
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.
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