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Mesothelioma: The Truth About Asbestos Exposure

Facts About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the protective lining of many organs, including the organs of the lungs and abdominal cavity. While it is a rare form of cancer, many people who suffer from mesothelioma have had manufacturing or construction jobs where they have been exposed to asbestos. Because treatment options are limited, people who suffer from this cancer will have a much less favorable outcome than patients with cancers caused by other environmental factors.

Important Mesothelioma Statistics

Up to 3,000 people will be diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, mostly among men aged 50 to 70 years of age. Because this cancer takes a long time to develop, anywhere from 15 to 50 years can pass between exposure and diagnosis. Once diagnosed, most patients survive between four months and 1.5 years. More than 9,000 people die from mesothelioma and other conditions triggered by asbestos exposure every year.

What is Asbestos?

Many industries have used asbestos for a variety of applications, such as sound absorption, insulation and fire resistance. It is a natural fiber and it was an affordable building material. The danger of asbestos comes from the fact that the particles are small and readily inhaled. Many masks and respirators are not properly equipped to filter out the minuscule asbestos particles. Once the particles are inhaled, they stick to areas of the respiratory system in a way that makes it impossible to expel them.

Where is Asbestos Most Common?

Asbestos is commonly found in industrial buildings. In these settings, it can be used as insulation, fireproofing, fire doors, thermal pipe insulation, and more. In the automotive industry, it is most prominent in brake pads and shoes. It was used on boats and ships to make marine gaskets and in heating and cooling systems as duct connectors. It can also be found in work and farm equipment in various applications such as packing for rotating shafts.

Around the home, asbestos can be lurking in a wide variety of areas. Older drywall and plaster walls may contain asbestos, as well as mud or textured coatings. Popcorn or acoustic ceilings are most noted for containing asbestos. It can be found in vinyl flooring and adhesives as well as roofing materials such as tar and felt. Some forms of shingle siding also contain asbestos.

Can You Make a Legal Claim for Mesothelioma?

Nowadays, mesothelioma sufferers have a right to collect damages from employers for asbestos exposure. There are even industry-established funds available to provide victims some recompense. The fact is that a great many companies were well aware of the link between mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. By refusing to protect their workers, they are now being held liable. Victims and their families can claim several damages, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Wrongful death
What You Need to Know to File Suit

First of all, be aware that in most states, a lawsuit must be filed within a certain period of time after the victim was diagnosed or was otherwise alerted of the condition. Once the statute of limitations runs out, victims and their families may not be eligible to receive damages. Most good lawyers will handle a mesothelioma case on a contingency basis, which means no out-of-pocket expenses. Family can sue on behalf of deceased parents or spouses.

Over 30 billion dollars has been appropriated by the industry to pay damages to mesothelioma victims and their families. If you or a loved one has experienced this terrible disease, you deserve compensation.

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