Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs, but can also affect the lining of the abdomen and heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was commonly used in construction materials, insulation, and other products. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in the lining of the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring. Over time, this can lead to the development of mesothelioma.
Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure:
The health risks of exposure to asbestos are well documented. In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos can increase the risk of lung cancer and other nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, such as asbestosis, pleural plaques, and pleural thickening.
Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in asbestos fibers. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, you might experience some of these symptoms:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent dry cough
- Chest pain or tightness
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Fingertips and toes that look wider and rounder than usual
- A dry, crackling sound when you breathe in
If you have pleural plaques, it means that your lung lining has thickened in certain areas. This can be a sign that you’ve been exposed to asbestos, but usually doesn’t require treatment.
Pleural thickening is another condition that can be caused by asbestos exposure. Scar tissue builds up on the lining of the lungs, making it thicker than normal. This can be a symptom of more serious conditions, including cancer. If you have pleural thickening, it might be a sign that you have mesothelioma.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma symptoms can take a long time to appear – sometimes 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. This makes it difficult to catch the disease early. If you or someone you know has been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to take protective measures to reduce the risk of developing these serious health conditions.
Preventing Asbestos Exposure:
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are several ways individuals can decrease their risk of exposure to asbestos:
- Avoid disturbing asbestos-containing materials: Do not cut, drill, sand or otherwise disturb materials that may contain asbestos.
- Hire trained professionals: If asbestos removal is necessary, enlist the help of trained and certified professionals to handle the job.
- Control dust in work areas: Use wet methods, such as damp wiping or mopping, to control dust and prevent the release of asbestos fibers.
- Use appropriate respiratory protection: Wear proper respiratory protection, such as a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter respirator, when working with asbestos-containing materials.
- Practice proper hygiene after working with asbestos: Change clothes and shower after working with asbestos-containing materials to prevent spreading fibers to other areas or exposing family members.
What to Do If You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos:
If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, take the following steps to reduce any further exposure and seek medical advice:
- Consult a medical professional: Seek medical advice, including screening tests recommended for people who may have been exposed to asbestos, such as chest X-rays and lung function tests.
- Be aware of the risks of continued exposure: Avoid engaging in DIY work or home renovations that may disturb asbestos-containing materials.
- Protect yourself in high-risk jobs: Be aware of the types of jobs that may result in asbestos exposure, such as construction, insulation, or shipyard work, and take appropriate measures to protect yourself.
- Consult experts: If you are concerned about potential asbestos exposure, consult experts, such as occupational hygienists, for advice.
- Review government guidance: Familiarize yourself with the government guidance on managing asbestos, such as the Safe Work Australia Code of Practice on Managing Asbestos in the Workplace.
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Preventing exposure is crucial to reduce the risk of developing this and other asbestos-related diseases. By taking appropriate measures, individuals can minimize their risk of exposure and protect their health.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing health issues, such as mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, it is crucial to seek legal support. Cronauer Law is a personal injury law firm with extensive experience in handling asbestos-related cases. They can help you navigate the complex legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Cronauer Law?
- Expertise in Asbestos-Related Cases: Cronauer Law has a team of skilled attorneys who specialize in asbestos-related cases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure. They have the knowledge and experience to provide effective legal representation.
- Compassionate and Personalized Service: At Cronauer Law, the legal team understands the emotional and financial toll that asbestos-related illnesses can have on individuals and their families. They are committed to providing compassionate and personalized service to help you through this difficult time.
- Proven Track Record: Cronauer Law has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in asbestos-related cases. They have secured compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages for their clients.
- No Upfront Costs: Cronauer Law operates on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay any legal fees unless they successfully recover compensation on your behalf. This ensures that you can access quality legal representation without worrying about the financial burden.