Asbestos: A Group of Harmful Mineral Fibers

“Asbestos” is the name of several mineral fibers which are most known for being strong against fire, heat, and chemical properties. Due to these characteristics, asbestos has been utilized as an ingredient in a variety of products, particularly for insulation, sound absorption, and fireproofing. The field that uses asbestos the most, is construction and manufacturers of building materials. While asbestos may sound like a miracle fiber initially, it can wreak devastating havoc on the human body.

From gradual and consistent exposure, a person may eventually fall ill to untreatable illness. Since years often go by before the onset of symptoms arise, people may not think their exposure to asbestos is the culprit. A good personal injury attorney will be dedicated to helping those harmed by asbestos by seeking compensation from a previous employer or manufacturing company who was at-fault for the exposure.

Health Impacts from Exposure

When products that contain material with asbestos are disturbed, the microscopic fibers can tear apart into tiny particles and float into the air. Once airborne, these tiny particles can be breathed in or swallowed, and start to build up within the lungs or digestive tract. Asbestos materials do not break down or leave the body, so it is through gradual exposure that these fibers slowly accumulate and then cause illness to develop. Exposure to asbestos can increase the risk of coming down with any of the following conditions:

  • Mesothelioma (cancer of the chest and abdominal area)
  • Larynx, oropharynx, gastrointestinal tract, or kidney cancer
  • Pleural plaques and scarring of the lung lining
  • Fluid collection around the lungs
  • Asbestosis (permanent lung damage)

Workers Most Vulnerable to Exposure

Most people who were diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness were exposed through jobs where they had to work directly with these natural fibers. The longer someone has been around asbestos or around large quantities of it, the more likely he or she is to develop a condition compared to those with brief exposure. Occupations in which workers are particularly vulnerable to repeated exposure include:

  • Building demolition
  • Firefighters
  • Auto industry
  • Fabric mills workers
  • Manufacturers of rubber and plastic
  • Railway construction
  • Shipbuilding
  • Plumbers
  • Insulation workers
  • Electricians
  • Pipefitters
  • Flooring manufacturing
  • Chemical manufacturing

Onset of Symptoms

The tricky factor in asbestos-related lawsuits is proving how exposure to asbestos many years prior had contributed to the development of certain illnesses or cancers later on. An experienced attorney, like a personal injury attorney from Yearin Law Office, understands how employers and companies may try to elude responsibility. He or she can help you gather evidence to show the correlation between your asbestos-related diagnosis and workplace exposure. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to see your doctor immediately and then follow up with a lawyer with for a legal consultation:

  • Pain in the chest and/or abdomen
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Persistent hoarseness
  • Weight loss
  • Blood coughed up from lungs
  • Shortness of breath

Please do not hesitate to contact an attorney to schedule a consultation today. Your health is a top priority, so let a lawyer help fight for you without delay.