Symptoms Of Asbestos Exposure

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Despite being banned from use twenty years ago, asbestos still remains a threat to millions today. Over 100,000 Americans have died from asbestos exposure-related disease, and that number increases by thousands every year from those who breathed in dust and particles that contain the lethal fibers.

Though asbestos was discovered thousands of years ago by the Egyptians, who used it to make cloth, it wasn\'t until the late-nineteenth century that its use became widespread. Known for its heat and fire resistant properties, its durability, and its stability even when exposed to chemicals, asbestos was used in buildings, ships, insulation, and other products throughout much of the twentieth century. However, with more information of mounting health risks associated with exposure came to light, it was banned by the US Environmental Protection Agency in the late 1980s, though some products still contain trace amounts of more non-lethal forms under strict regulation.

Per capita rates of asbestos-related diseases are highest among construction workers and others who dealt directly with the material, as well as in towns where asbestos was mined from the ground. The rates for families of workers are also high, because asbestos fibers are passed from the clothing, hair, and tools of workers to their families.

And though the full effect of exposure is still relatively unknown, new information is giving researchers a better look at the diseases – like mesothelioma and asbestosis – caused by asbestos. Although limited exposure to asbestos doesn\'t necessarily cause cancer, excessive exposure to it can cause several different types of cancer including: asbestosis (a chronic lung ailment) lung cancer, and mesothelioma (a rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen). Asbestos can also cause other types of cancers including: cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, larynx, and oropharynx (the oral part of the pharynx).

When determining if you may have been exposed to asbestos, there are many symptoms to take into account including: bloody or rust-colored phlegm, chest pain, hoarseness, persistent cough, chest pain, weight loss, back pain, shortness of breath, weakness, nausea, fever, loss of appetite, swelling of the face and arms, muscle weakness, sensory loss, and pleural effusions (abnormal accumulation of fluid between the lungs and chest wall). It is important to note that these symptoms are also common to other diseases.

To test for asbestos, your doctor will administer a full medical examination along with one or more common testing methods. Your doctor may examine phlegm samples under a microscope to determine is cancer cells are present; take a tissue sample or biopsy; or use a variety of imaging techniques to detect asbestos-related cancers.

Unfortunately, scientists have not found a cure for mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. And because asbestos-related diseases go unannounced for so long, they are usually beyond treatment when they finally are diagnosed. However, possible treatment methods include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.

In the case that you have been exposed to asbestos while working, you may be able to seek damages for your illness and any losses you have incurred. Because of the volume of asbestos-related cases brought forth in past decades, many law firms offer attorneys who specialize in asbestos-related law. These specialists know the ins and outs of litigation that might help you get the compensation you deserve, including the recovery of medical fees, lost wages, attorneys\' fees, or other costs associated with your injury. A lot of attorneys will work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your suit. Making sure you find the right lawyer can help you get back on your feet.

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