Illinois Mesothelioma Lawyer

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What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is diagnosed in approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people in the United States each year. It affects the mesothelium, which is a protective lining and sac around major organs in the body.

The protective lining created by cells of the mesothelium protects organs when they move, enabling them to slide easily against each other and other structures in the body, such as when the heart moves or the lungs expand and contract. The mesothelium of the chest is called the pleura; the mesothelium of the abdominal cavity is the peritoneum; and the mesothelium of the heart is the pericardium.

When mesothelioma occurs in the body, the cells of the mesothelium develop abnormally. They may divide and spread out of control. Many times, as the cancer progresses, it can spread to other areas of the body.

What causes mesothelioma?
The primary risk factor for developing mesothelioma is long-term exposure to asbestos, or heavy exposure to asbestos over a period of a few months.

Asbestos is a fiber that occurs in nature, but is also used in manufacturing and a variety of industries. Asbestos has two properties that have made it especially useful in a number of products and industries; it is heat resistant and is fire-retardant. In products that must be able to resist a great deal of heat, such as boilers, furnaces, brake pads or in products that need to resist fire, like roofing tiles, piping, and drywall, asbestos was a logical solution.

Unfortunately, while asbestos was useful in manufacturing and industry, it was discovered to be harmful to people\'s health, and was linked to the development of mesothelioma. When people breath asbestos in or ingest it, the body will try to get rid of some of the foreign substance by causing a person to cough or swallow. While this may help rid the body of some asbestos, there are long, thin asbestos fibers called amphibole, that may become stuck in the breathing tubes of the lungs. When these fibers become stuck, they may penetrate the mesothelium and cause damage to organs, which can lead to the development of mesothelioma.

Who is at risk for developing mesothelioma?
Industries and manufacturing jobs in which people may have been, or are, exposed to asbestos and from which they may potentially develop mesothelioma include:

Construction
Mining
Railroad
Firefighters
Electricians

Boilermaker
Drywall Tapers
Iron Workers
U.S. Navy
Welders

Shipyard Workers
Power Plant Workers
Plumbers
Hairdressers
Teachers

People who live with individuals who have been exposed to asbestos may also be at risk for developing mesothelioma. Asbestos dust that enters the home on clothing or equipment can be breathed in by others, putting them at risk. People who smoke and have been exposed to asbestos may also be at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma.

There may be a risk of developing mesothelioma if someone in your family has had it; however, more research needs to be done to understand this link.

What do you do if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you have worked in an industry where you have been exposed to asbestos, in addition to seeing a doctor and specialists, it is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney. An attorney based in Illinois will be familiar with rules and regulations for making a claim.

An Illinois lawyer will assess your case and determine if you can make a viable claim. You may be eligible for compensation under product liability, workers\' compensation, premises liability, or economic property loss. Your lawyer will guide you through the process and help determine what course of action is most suitable.

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