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Asbestos was once hailed as sort of a miracle when it was first used in the 1800s. Historically, it was used as insulation in the United States and in Canada. Throughout the 20th century, its uses expanded to fire retardant coatings, pipes, insulation, concrete, bricks, flooring, siding, roofing, and many more. It was extremely popular because of its resistance to heat, fire, chemicals, as well as its strength and flexibility. For many years the mineral was widely used, until the sometimes fatal dangers became apparent. Many previous court cases have already discovered that the dangers were widely known among the asbestos manufacturers, and some corporations, yet they continued to neglect the well-being of their workers with continued exposure.

In general, asbestos is not harmful if it is left intact. However, when it crumbles, the fibers get into the air. When these particles are inhaled or ingested into the body, adverse effects on the body are irreversible. There are a number of diseases that are directly caused by exposure to asbestos. The two most common ones are asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Asbestosis is a breathing disorder directly linked to the inhalation of asbestos fibers into the lungs. Unfortunately, asbestos fibers are difficult for the body to breakdown, therefore the substances the body uses to try and destroy the fibers instead scars the tissue surrounding the lung. After long periods of exposure the fibers and the scars accumulate reducing the ability for the body to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. Therefore, breathing becomes difficult. Much like mesothelioma, the symptoms do not appear for at least 10 years. If gone untreated, high blood pressure in your lungs, heart problems, lung cancer, and lung damage can all occur due to the decreased flow of oxygen.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is directly associated to the tissue surrounding the internal organs. Asbestos fibers become lodged into the tissue, thus scarring and damaging the cells. Then the cells become cancerous in rapid reproduction, which leads to tumors. Asbestos exposure is considered to be one of the exclusive causes of mesothelioma, and 80 percent of cases originated in the workplace. Sadly, this form of cancer lays dormant for decades, which leaves many patients in the late stages of cancer upon official diagnoses. On average, mesothelioma patients are 65 years of age with approximately one year to live.

Therefore, removing asbestos should always be left to a professionals They have ways to protect themselves that the average person does not have access to. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created strict regulations that dictate the amount of asbestos that is safe per hourly shift, as well as the protective gear necessary for professionals. Full body suits, eye goggles, and respirators are only a few of the requirements. Never disturb asbestos on your own, you may not only endanger yourself, but those around you may ingest fibers too.

Thousands of people who have been diagnosed with illnesses after working with asbestos are filing lawsuits against the companies who put them in danger. Former employers and the asbestos manufacturers themselves are all among the defendants. If you or someone you know has acquired an asbestos related illness, you should consult a lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your building medical bills, loss of income, and of course the pain and suffering you innocently have to endure. Asbestos is a toxic material that should have never be so widely distributed. Sadly, many Americans suffer as a result of trying to earn an honest living for their families.


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