Though many years have passed since the time that asbestos use was widespread, it will be a long time before is stops wreaking havoc in the lives of those who were exposed to it – and who may be exposed to it in the future. Though many who worked in asbestos-contaminated environments and who worked with asbestos-contaminated products have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other serious conditions, there are untold numbers of people who are likely to be diagnosed at some point in the future: mesothelioma has a latency period of up to fifty years, so people who were exposed in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and beyond still have many years before they even begin to experience symptoms. Furthermore, there are many buildings and parts of our infrastructure that were built using asbestos, leaving a very real possibility that people will be exposed to the carcinogen in the future. Though the federal government has created strict regulations regarding exposure to asbestos and the proper method for disposing of it, many of these laws are being violated today.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the asbestos companies. No matter what your mesothelioma stage, this compensation can come from filing a mesothelioma lawsuit or from filing a claim with the $30 billion asbestos trust funds. For more information on your rights and the reimbursement you may be able to receive, contact us today. We will send you a free Financial Compensation Packet, or put you in touch with one of our compassionate and experienced mesothelioma attorneys.
The decades between 1930 and the late 1970s represent the time when asbestos was used most extensively. The material was used in the construction and insulation of residences, schools, commercial buildings and government buildings, as well as in the operations of factories and industrial settings.
Asbestos was also used extensively by the United States armed forces, and particularly in shipbuilding and Navy settings during the years before, during and after World War II. Because of this, veterans are disproportionately represented among mesothelioma victims.
Estimates provided by the U.S. Office of Compliance indicate that a minimum of 10,000 people are likely to die each year as a result of exposure to asbestos.
Despite the fact that it has been proven to be a highly toxic carcinogen, asbestos continues to be used globally, and is mined in a number of locations around the world.
Though most people who are diagnosed with ab asbestos-related disease had extensive exposure to the material, scientists have indicated that even small or short-term exposure can have deadly results.
Asbestos exposure is directly at fault in roughly 4 percent of all lung cancer diseases diagnosed in the United States.
Because of mesothelioma’s long latency period, most people who are diagnosed with the disease are classified as being in an advanced stage, and are beyond the help of the most effective medical treatments.
Unlike most other types of cancer, which can be attributed to a variety of causes, mesothelioma was conclusively and exclusively linked to exposure to asbestos in 1964.
Because it can take decades after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma symptoms to appear, most mesothelioma victims are not identified until they are older. The average age of a mesothelioma victim at the time of diagnosis is 62.
In addition to causing lung cancer and mesothelioma, asbestos exposure has also been associated with cancer of other organs, including the esophagus and the kidneys.
Though smoking has long been known to be a cause of lung cancer, those who smoked and who were also exposed to asbestos have a three times greater chance of being diagnosed with the disease.
Every mesothelioma patient is different, and each is best treated with a medical protocol that is determined by the unique elements of their case. There is no cure for the disease, but there are a number of protocols that offer the potential for extended survival and improved quality of life.
In addition to the risks posed by occupational exposure to asbestos, studies have linked the use of talcum powder that contains asbestos to the occurrence of ovarian cancer in women.
Laryngeal cancer has been linked to asbestos exposure by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Even a small, short-term exposure to asbestos carries a risk of being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, but the greatest risk is to those who were exposed to the material on a daily basis in their work environment.
One of the first steps taken by physicians after mesothelioma is diagnosed is to determine the severity of the patient’s disease. This is done through a project called staging, which classifies a patient as being in Stage I, Stage II, Stage III or Stage IV. Those who are diagnosed in Stage I or II have the potential for benefitting from aggressive medical treatment, but those who are in Stage III or IV have a much diminished prognosis.
Though asbestos use was dramatically curtailed in the 1980s, and strict guidelines exist for the protection of employees, there are many workplaces that still pose a risk of exposure to workers. Those who are in the construction or demolition trades are frequently exposed to asbestos dust, and it is essential that all regulations for the disposition of the deadly material be adhered to.
EPA and OSHA regulations have established a maximum asbestos exposure of 0.1 fibers of asbestos per cubic centimeter over an 8-hour work shift. The rules specifically prohibit any kind of manipulation of those limits, such as might be accomplished by rotating employees to minimize exposure. The gauge is based on the concentration in the air, though employers are required to provide daily monitoring of all employees who are at risk to ensure their safety.
In addition to daily monitoring, employers whose workers are exposed to minute asbestos particles are also required to provide them with monthly medical examinations. They are also required to provide hygienic facilities for asbestos decontamination, as well as protective gear and clothing.
There are some rare instances in which exposure to radiation for the treatment of lymphoma can cause mesothelioma.
There are also rare instances of children being diagnosed with mesothelioma. In many cases their exposure to asbestos comes from the school buildings where they get their education, though most children diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease have second-hand exposure that comes from asbestos carried into their home by a parent or family friend who works with the deadly material.
Researchers are developing a mesothelioma vaccine that is hoped to serve as a preventative measure for those who have been exposed to asbestos and who have not yet been diagnosed with or developed the disease.
Despite the reduction of asbestos use in the United States, health experts anticipate that the number of asbestos victims will continue to rise.
People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible for compensation from the $30 billion asbestos trust funds, or to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the asbestos companies that negligently exposed them to asbestos. If you or someone you love has an asbestos-related condition like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos lung cancer, contact our office today at 1-800-793-4540. We will put you in touch with one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys or send you a free Financial Compensation Packet that will provide you with helpful information about the compensation that you may be eligible to receive.