Mesothelioma & Asbestos

Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure

mesothelioma & asbestosMesothelioma is a rare and dangerous form of cancer caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos. It can develop as many as 30-50 years following the original asbestos exposure and has proven highly resistant to medical treatment. If you or someone you love has developed mesothelioma, our asbestos lawyers have the depth of experience and resources necessary to successfully pursue your case. Contact the asbestos lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar today.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring, fibrous mineral that is strong, heat resistant, and extremely durable. For this reason, it was once mined extensively for use in insulation and building materials. Before its health risks became known in the 1970s, asbestos had been used in everything from wall insulation, floor tiling, and roofing materials to break linings in automobiles and barbeque mitts on the patio.

There are six types of asbestos. The three most common types found in building materials are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. Chrysotile, or white asbestos, is the only member of the serpentine family (based on the structure of the crystal), making it the most popularly used type of asbestos. Amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos), are members of the amphibole family. The other three asbestos types (Actinolite, Anthophyllite, and Tremolite) may be present in building materials as trace contaminant amounts. All forms of asbestos are considered dangerous and carcinogenic.

How are people exposed to asbestos?

asbestos exposurePeople are most commonly exposed to asbestos by breathing in asbestos fibers in the air near sites where asbestos mineral or asbestos containing materials have been disturbed. When disrupted through activities such as mining or building renovations, these materials release microscopic asbestos fibers into the air. Anyone living or working near such a site is in danger of inhaling these glass-like fibers. Typical exposure sites might include:

  • asbestos mines and quarries
  • factories that manufacture asbestos products
  • buildings under renovation or demolition that contain asbestos materials
  • uncovered construction waste sites
  • old buildings with exposed or crumbling asbestos containing materials

A second way in which people are exposed to asbestos fibers is by swallowing them in their drinking water, either through erosion from natural and waste deposits or through asbestos cement water pipes. In the United States, thousands of miles of cement pipes mixed with asbestos carry drinking water to the nation’s cities and towns. When these pipes begin to corrode, asbestos fibers can leach into the water supply.

If you have a history of asbestos exposure and have developed mesothelioma or another serious asbestos-related disease, our asbestos lawyers can review your case free of charge to find out whether you may be eligible for financial compensation.

What diseases have been linked to asbestos exposure?

Asbestosis

Asbestos fibers that enter the lungs can become permanently lodged in the air sacs and the deepest part of the lungs. These fibers work their way into the lung tissue, causing scar tissue to form. If the scarring becomes extensive enough, it can impair breathing and put added strain on the heart. This condition is called asbestosis. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and coughing. Asbestosis can eventually lead to permanent disability or death in some cases.

Pleural Plaques

Scarring and thickening of the pleural membrane (the mesothelium) surrounding the lungs is a common result of asbestos exposure. These pleural plaques, while not generally as serious as asbestosis, can affect breathing and may put patients at greater risk of developing lung cancer or mesothelioma later in life.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is characterized by malignant cell growth inside the lungs. Asbestos is one of the known causes of lung cancer, along with smoking. The combination of smoking and asbestos exposure is particularly harmful, and smokers with a history of asbestos exposure have a greatly increased risk of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer can take many years or decades following asbestos exposure to develop.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma refers to malignant cell growth in the membrane that surrounds the lungs, heart, and abdominal cavity. Characterized by aggressive tumors, this rare cancer is the most serious and difficult to treat of the asbestos-related diseases. It is linked almost exclusively to asbestos exposure and, like lung cancer, can take as long as 30-50 years to develop.

Contact our Asbestos Lawyers

Our asbestos lawyers have extensive experience helping victims of serious asbestos-related disease obtain just financial compensation for their injuries. If you or someone you love is suffering as a result of asbestos exposure, don’t wait. Contact the asbestos lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar today.