Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Have you received a mesothelioma diagnosis, likely caused by exposure to asbestos? Then, you could be eligible to receive financial compensation through a mesothelioma claim paid by the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured victims needing to pursue a claim to recover damages for developing mesothelioma. We ensure our clients can pay the high cost of mesothelioma treatments by holding those responsible for causing cancer accountable.
Asbestos is classified as a naturally forming mineral collection of tiny fibers existing and rock and soil in most areas of the earth. For decades, scientists have known that exposure to all classified forms of asbestos remains the leading cause of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Approximately 80% of all mesothelioma patients were previously exposed to asbestos fibers and dust. These patients develop mesothelioma tumors that develop when asbestos fibers are inhaled, resulting in permanent soreness and cell damage.
Over time, the asbestos fibers will relocate in various body parts, leading to multiple forms of mesothelioma, including pleural and pericardial. Asbestos is the most significant contributor and well-known cause of developing mesothelioma.
Does Everyone Who Is Exposed to Asbestos Get Mesothelioma?
Research studies conclude that not every individual exposed to asbestos fibers will develop mesothelioma. However, those who inhale or ingest vast amounts of asbestos are at greater risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
The vulnerability of each individual is based on several contributing risk factors, including the length of exposure, the amount of exposure, and the type of asbestos involved.
How Much Exposure to Asbestos Results in Mesothelioma?
Studies indicate that approximately 2% to 10% of people regularly exposed to asbestos are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, the most deadly form of asbestos-related cancers. Most research indicates that mesothelioma does not usually manifest until 20 to 50 years following asbestos exposure.
The diagnosis is often confirmed when a previously undetectable tumor has developed and spread to late-stage cancer. Generally, any level of asbestos exposure is not safe.
However, the danger significantly increases with continued exposure over time. Similarly, asbestos traces in the workers' clothes, hair, and shoes are still lethal to their immediate family members when their loved one returns from work spreading asbestos fibers and dust in the home.
How Long Can It Take to Get Mesothelioma After Asbestos Exposure?
The initial mesothelioma diagnosis usually occurs two to five decades after the first asbestos exposure. However, some patients have been diagnosed within the first fifteen years after exposure.
Typically, the most advanced forms of mesothelioma can appear when the patient is in their 60s or 70s. Stopping exposure to asbestos does not necessarily reduce a substantial risk of developing the crippling disease.
How Can You Prevent Mesothelioma After Asbestos Exposure?
Medical professional advice usually recommends avoiding any asbestos exposure to minimize the potential of developing mesothelioma. Workers are advised to regularly wear protective attire and adhere to safety protocols when dealing with handling or avoiding asbestos to reduce the danger of developing an asbestos-related illness.
Employees that work in manufacturing plants in factories that make products containing asbestos should evaluate their safety protocols to avoid bringing released asbestos fibers and dust into the home on their clothing.
Additionally, those with known exposure to asbestos should seek medical attention to mitigate any severe health condition that could develop mesothelioma. Typically, the patient receives a last-minute diagnosis of advanced asbestos-related diseases when the condition has already developed into a life-threatening problem.
Is Asbestos the Only Source of Mesothelioma?
While asbestos exposure is still a leading cause of mesothelioma, research indicates that radiation treatment for various cancers can trigger mesothelioma lying dormant in the patient's body while it slowly progresses.
Statistics from the American Cancer Society indicate that asbestos exposure accounts for up to 80% of all mesothelioma cases.
Primary Facts About Mesothelioma
For decades, scientists have known that asbestos exposure can lead to the rare and deadly form of mesothelioma that typically compromises the heart, abdomen, chest, and lungs.
Data reveals that thousands of individuals are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. Other facts concerning the asbestos-related illness include:
- The patients' life expectancyaverages 12 to 22 months
- It often takes 20 to 50 years of harm before the first diagnosis
- Mesothelioma cancer emanates from asbestos exposure
- Approximately 2% to 10% of people with lengthy asbestos exposure will get pleural mesothelioma.
- About 0.3% of all cancer cases involve mesothelioma
- The four kinds of mesothelioma include testicular, pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal
Primary Mesothelioma Risk Factors
Numerous contributing risk factors can increase cancer risk of developing malignant mesothelioma, including smoking, family history, and the patient's age. However, being at risk of developing mesothelioma does not mean that the person will develop the disease.
Many individuals who acquire mesothelioma have only a few or no known contributing risk factors. That said, the main mesothelioma risk factors to individuals include:
- Individuals are exposed to release asbestos fibers while repairing a house without adhering to safety protocols
- Workers operating in an asbestos quarry or factory
- Employees working in industrial or military installationsfitted with asbestos
- Living in a home tainted with asbestos
- Working in elevated risks jobs like the building and construction sectors
Although no level of asbestos exposure is safe, the following factors determine the danger level and the level of exposure to the toxic material. These contributing factors include:
- Kind of asbestos: amphibole fibers are tiny like needles, while serpentine asbestos is lengthy and meandering
- Accumulation: the quantity of asbestos one comes into contact with can increase the potential risk of acquiring the deadly cancer
- Frequency: the number of times a person is exposed to asbestos fibers and dust
- Duration: The length of time a person is exposed to asbestos measured in hours, days, weeks, years, and decades
Experienced Lawyers for Lawsuits Regarding Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Any individual exposed to asbestos fibers and dust in a working environment, living in a home, or visiting specific facilities might have a legal claim for compensation against any negligent party.
Generally, the management, owner, or business operator has a duty of care to enforce safety measures that protect tenants, visitors, workers, and others from asbestos exposure. When a safety measure fails and the individual suffers harm, they can seek legal redress for compensation.
Types of Mesothelioma
Medical science classifies mesothelioma based on where the tumor occurs and its cell nature. Typically, mesothelioma first develops in the lungs through inhalation of asbestos fibers and dust. However, the deadly disease can also develop in the testicles, heart, and abdomen.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma occurs in the pleura, the narrow tissues lining covering the lungs. Its symptoms include coughing, chest pain, and pleural gush.
Medical professionals diagnose approximately 3,000 new cases of malignant pleural mesothelioma every year.
Ingesting asbestos fibers can cause peritoneal mesothelioma cancer in the peritoneum, the thin film of tissue covering the abdomen. Typically, peritoneal mesothelioma cancer is often not diagnosed until decades after the initial ingestion of the toxic fibers.
Mesothelioma developing in the epithelioid cells accounts for 50% to 70% of all cell types of the debilitating disease, manifesting as weight decrease and difficulty breathing (gasping for breath).
The biphasic form of mesothelioma affects the sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells. Additionally, biphasic mesothelioma is often referred to as mixed mesothelioma.
Rare Kinds of Mesothelioma
- Sarcomatoid mesothelioma affects the sarcomatoid cells
- Pericardial mesothelioma forms in the heart
- Testicular mesothelioma develops in the testes
- Some uncommon cell sub-types
Treatment for Mesothelioma
For some mesothelioma patients, the disease is not fatal. However, medical professionals often provide numerous treatments for patients diagnosed with the disease that focuses more on comfort than survival.
Approximately 20% of all individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma at a localized stage have a five-year survival rate measured from the initial diagnosis. The different treatments available for mesothelioma and nearly any stage include:
- Chemotherapy if the patient did not receive early treatment
- Surgical excision of the chest lining
- Immunotherapy medical trials
- Chemotherapy medical trials
- Surgical medical trials
- Targeted therapy medical trials
Demographic Perspective in Mesothelioma Incidents
Data reveals that men are more susceptible to asbestos exposure than women, likely due to occupational opportunities. More men than women are employed in jobs more prone to asbestos exposure, including construction, building, shipping, and firefighting.
Mesothelioma Cancer Cases Arising From Asbestos Exposure
Companies producing asbestos and associated products should exercise the utmost care to protect their workers, families, and residents near their processing plants. Failure to adhere to the highest expected standard can render them legally liable.
Any mesothelioma patient or surviving family member who lost a loved one from asbestos exposure should seek legal advice for a compensation claim.
Occupational Asbestos Exposure
Dangerous work environments are the leading contributing factor to mesothelioma cancer. For example, workers in the shipping, industrial, and power sectors are often exposed to materials coated with asbestos.
Building and demolition team members are at greater risk of developing mesothelioma when demolishing buildings because of the massive amounts of asbestos used during construction decades ago. Similarly, firefighters extinguishing blazes in older buildings are also at risk of airborne asbestos fibers.
Environmental Asbestos Exposure
The earth's surface contains vast quantities of asbestos clusters. Therefore, residential homes built in hilly and mountainous areas might create a dangerous situation where the toxic minerals emanate from the ground.
When asbestos infiltrates into the nearby water bodies like lakes and rivers, the health of local residents can become compromised when consuming the water. Additionally, when the tainted water vaporizes into the air, it can move further and affect more people.
Secondary Exposure to Asbestos
Employees working in asbestos-oriented companies often return home with toxic fibers and dust on their clothing, shoes, hats, gloves, and other personal items. Exposing their families to the toxic substance creates a secondary risk of asbestos to loved ones.
The worker's tools and hair also serve as a secondary conduit for asbestos exposure. Unfortunately, families are often unaware that the exposure could lead to severe health conditions that will not appear for years.
Like other exposure, mesothelioma takes considerable time to appear during an initial diagnosis. Occupations with asbestos exposure are:
- Plumbers: Plumbing technicians laying or fixing broken pipe could be exposed to asbestos-coated materials
- Firefighters: As first responders, firefighters putting out a blaze could be exposed to emitting asbestos fibers and dust while extinguishing the fire
- Shipbuilders: Some ships are fitted with asbestos for installation, which can expose shipbuilders building civilian and military vessels to the toxic substance
- Insulators: Workers installing new insulation in an old building must first remove the old insulation. If the insulation is asbestos-based, any toxic fibers and dust release could create first-hand exposure in an enclosed environment.
- Powerplant technicians: Some equipment in power plants are wrapped and insulated with asbestos, and some machinery is manufactured with the mineral, subjecting workers to asbestos exposure.
- Construction workers: Construction workers building any new structure with asbestos and asbestos-related products puts them at a high exposure to the toxic substance
Who Treats Mesothelioma?
Were you diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma? Typically, your Cancer care team will offer numerous treatment options. However, before deciding on the treatments that best fit your health care plan, evaluate every benefit involved in each treatment option against any potential side effects and risks.
Typically, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are challenging to treat when the disease does not develop as a single tumor mass. Instead, mesothelioma cancers tend to spread along blood vessels, nerves, and nearby surfaces, making it challenging to rid cancer completely using radiation or surgery.
Developing mesothelioma is rare, so only a few large clinical trials to treat the condition have been done. Additionally, many healthcare providers have little experience providing quality treatment to minimize symptoms and often refer their patients to cancer specialists at large medical centers already treating mesothelioma patients.
Typical health care providers that treat mesothelioma include:
- Pulmonologists whose core function involves treating lung diseases
- Radiation oncologists employ radiation therapy to contain cancer
- Surgical oncologists who use different surgical procedures to contain cancer
- Thoracic surgeons who treat chest and lung diseases with surgical procedures
- Medical oncologists who contain cancer through medication such as chemotherapy
Developing mesothelioma is environmentally specific. Any individual who avoids asbestos exposure can minimize the chance of ever developing an asbestos-related illness over time.
Following safety protocols like wearing safety attire and following regulations when installing, removing, or abating asbestos from products, materials, and buildings can minimize the chance of ever developing the disease.
Additionally, any business that deals with asbestos has a legal responsibility to ensure that safety measures are followed according to the law. Stringent regulations help protect individuals and the environment from any asbestos exposure that could result in mesothelioma.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Any individual experiencing difficulty breathing or any other symptoms associated with mesothelioma should immediately seek medical attention and file a compensation claim.
Asbestos exposure is a significant health issue for many workers in a variety of industries.
Many individuals diagnosed with asbestosis, asbestos cancer, and mesothelioma were exposed to the toxic material in their workplace, where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers.
In addition to direct exposure, there is also secondhand exposure, when family members have developed severe medical conditions by being in close contact with a victim suffering an asbestos-related condition.
Wasn't Asbestos Use Banned?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that naturally occurs in soil and rock. For decades, the incredibly durable material was used in numerous industries because of its high resistance to heat and fire.
Before the 1980s, asbestos was used in flooring and ceiling insulation in buildings and as a fire deterrent in brake system components, products, boats, and ships.
Many older buildings and ships were cleared of all asbestos over the years as a part of an extensive abatement program designed and implemented by the federal government.
The U.S. government has banned asbestos in various applications through the Consumer Product Safety Act, Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
This toxic material has been banned from various commercial products, corrugated paper, artificial fireplace embers, and wall patch compounds.
However, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates indicate more than 3000 commercial products in the U.S. still contain high levels of asbestos.
Some industries are still legally allowed to use asbestos in the manufacturing of various products that include:
- Brake blocks
- Cement flat sheet
- Fire and heat resistant clothing
- Roof coatings and shingles
Nearly anyone can be at risk of exposure to the toxic material if it is damaged or disturbed in any way, which can release dangerous fibers into the air. The lives of those that ingest or inhale the fibers can be placed in peril.
Industrial Workers Put at Risk for Developing Mesothelioma
Numerous industrial fields have a higher risk of exposure to asbestos and an increased potential of workers developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other respiratory diseases.
Workers who have experienced an increased level of exposure have a higher propensity of developing a fatal or harmful respiratory medical condition.
Workers that tend to be at most significant risk for developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related cancers include:
- Ship repair crews
- Factory workers
- Workers that manufacture and install insulation
- Asbestos miners
- Brake repair employees
Even though the material has not been utilized on a massive scale in years, many individuals have developed severe medical conditions after decades of long-term exposure.
Even with strict laws and guidelines to protect workers and the public, the number of asbestos injury cases continues to climb.
Severe Medical Problems Associated With Asbestos Exposure
The various medical conditions that are directly associated with ingested and inhaled exposure to asbestos include:
- Mesothelioma– Though this kind of cancer is rare, mesothelioma is a deadly disease that can develop on the thin lining layers of the lungs, heart, abdomen, and chest. This often fatal disease is caused by damage to the mesothelium, which protects the body's internal organs.
- Asbestosis– Even though this debilitating medical condition is non-cancerous, it can adversely affect the victim's respiratory function, causing persistent coughing and shortness of breath.
- Asbestos-Related Cancer– This refers to a long list of associated cancers caused by exposure to asbestos, including asbestos lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancers.
Colleagues and family members of individuals diagnosed with any form of the asbestos disease have a high potential of developing the severe condition through direct or secondary exposure.
People Living With Asbestosis Are Entitled Compensation
Victims suffering health-related conditions caused by exposure to asbestos are legally entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. However, the laws involved in seeking compensation are complex and often require the skills of an experienced lawyer.
A reputable attorney can provide various legal options and assist the victim in filing a claim or lawsuit against all parties at fault for manufacturing, selling, installing, or using asbestos-containing products.
Hiring a Mesothelioma Attorney to Resolve Your Personal Injury Case
Did a doctor diagnose you with mesothelioma, likely caused by asbestos exposure decades ago? Do you need to file a civil lawsuit or claim against those responsible for the exposure that led to your harm?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for all injured patients suffering from respiratory diseases, cancer, and mesothelioma. We ensure that all of our clients receive the financial compensation they need to restore their quality of life and provide sufficient funds for their medical bills.
Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law office remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures that you pay no upfront fees until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.
- American Cancer Society – Malignant Mesothelioma
- The Causes of Mesothelioma
- Respiratory Epidemiology – The Risks of Mesothelioma
Many men and women have already resolved their million-dollar mesothelioma lawsuits. Call our law office today (888) 424-5757 to schedule your information to discuss your compensation case.