Asbestos Exposure & Health Risks
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that naturally occurs in soil and rock. For decades, the incredibly durable material was used numerous industries because of its high resistance to heat and fire. Before the 1980s, asbestos was used as flooring and ceiling insulation in buildings and as a fire deterrent in brake system components, products, boats and ships. Many older building and ships were cleared of all asbestos over the years as a part of a large abatement program, designed and implemented by the federal government.
Wasn’t Asbestos Use Banned?
The U.S. government has banned the use of asbestos in a variety of 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 use in various products that include commercial and corrugated paper, artificial fireplace embers and wall patch compounds.
However, estimates by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) 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 to exposure of 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 Mesothlioma
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 greatest risk for developing mesothelioma, asbestosis or asbestos-related cancers include:
- Ship builders
- 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 serious medical conditions after decades of long-term exposure. Even with strict laws and guidelines set in place to protect worker and the public, the number of asbestos injury cases continues to climb.
Serious 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 the damage to the mesothelium, which provides protection to 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 asbestos disease have a high potential of developing the serious condition through direct or secondary exposure.
Asbestosis Victims 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 recompense are complex and often require the skills of an experienced lawyer. A reputable attorney can provide a variety of 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.
Rosenfeld Injury Attorneys at (888) 424-5757 specialize in toxic exposure personal injury claims. We provide an initial, free evaluation to investigate your case. We accept cases on contingency to provide you instant legal representation without the cost of upfront fees.