Virginia Mesothelioma Lawyer

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Asbestos was a popular building material commonly used in a variety of industries up until the mid-1970s. It was considered to be an ideal material for construction because of its low heat conductivity and its resistance to fire. It was therefore commonly used as an insulating material. It was also flexible and extremely durable. As a result of its effectiveness in building insulated structures, asbestos was used in schools, personal residences, offices, ships and trains.

For the past 30 years asbestos exposure has been directly linked to the development of a rare but very aggressive form of cancer. This type of cancer is called mesothelioma. The survival rate for people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma is very low. Many times only 8 percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma survive. If you are a resident of Virginia and have developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney.

It has been shown that asbestos insulation workers were placed at the highest-risk for developing mesothelioma. An estimated 6 percent of insulation workers are diagnosed with mesothelioma later in life. They are also 300 times more likely to die from this type of cancer than the general public. Not only were millions of workers placed at risk, but so too were their family members. If a family member handles clothing that is carrying asbestos fibers, then he or she can breathe in those fibers, putting themselves at risk for second-hand exposure to asbestos. People have been known to develop mesothelioma due to this second-hand exposure.

Once asbestos is breathed through the nose or mouth, the fibers enter the body. Human bodies are unable to break down asbestos, and therefore we are stuck with this poisonous substance in our body. The fibers settle into the lining of the lungs, or if swallowed, the fibers become embedded in the abdomen. They then cause damage to DNA, inducing mutations in healthy cells that turn them into cancerous ones. The result is mesothelioma, a type of cancer that occurs when cells in the mesothelium—the covering that protects the body\'s lungs, heart, and gut—are mutated. These cells become abnormal and begin to divide without any type of control.

A licensed health care professional is the only person who can diagnose mesothelioma. If mesothelioma is suspected, a professional will take down the patient\'s work history to pinpoint where the patient was at highest-risk for exposure to asbestos. Next, if warning signs of mesothelioma persist, a chest x-ray will be performed. A chest x-ray can show an unusual thickening of the lungs or mineral deposits—two signs of mesothelioma. Also, fluid in the chest, abdomen, heart, or lungs can be another sign of this type of cancer. If mesothelioma is suspected, a sample of the fluid will be tested. Three-thousand new cases of asbestos related mesothelioma are reported every year. This is a number that will only go up with time.

Exposure to asbestos, and thus mesothelioma, can be prevented, however. Employers should have enforced guidelines that would have made their workers wear gloves, a mask, and a gown when dealing with asbestos materials. Manufacturers should have put asbestos products through stricter safety tests. Even though asbestos was banned in the United States, it can still be found in over 700,000 buildings nationwide.

If you are a resident of the state of Virginia and have wrongfully been exposed to asbestos, it would be in your best interest to call an attorney. Your employer or manufacturer might have put you at risk, especially if you have developed mesothelioma as a result of this exposure. An attorney will be more than willing to help you through this rough period of time.

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