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Asbestos- A mineral found in the natural environment, which is comprised of fiber bundles, either as needle-like structures or rings. Asbestos refers to the group of six minerals, all which have different characteristics, usually regarding size, color, and shape of the fibers. It was commonly used in industries because of its ability to withstand chemical heat, fire, and its strength. When fibers become airborne, however, a person is likely to unknowingly swallow or inhale the toxic substance. Asbestos was found in insulation materials, walls, around electrical cords, appliances, vinyl tiles, floor boards, and fabrics. It is estimated that it could be found in over 3,000 products, although it is less commonly used today. It is still used by automobile industries for use in brake pads. Years later, after years of exposure to the mineral, people began developing asbestos-related cancers and other diseases, including asbestosis.

Asbestosis- A rare condition from long-term exposure to asbestos. It causes the lungs to develop scar tissue, which is hazardous to the individual. As scar tissue develops, protective layers that surround the lungs become chronically inflamed, making it difficult for the person to breath. As a result, the heart is forced to work hard to pump blood, and oxygen and other gases are not exchanged normally. Many people die of other complications associated with the disease, including heart attacks, cardiac arrest, and strokes. In addition, scar tissue is likely to secrete excessive amounts of mucous, which can further impair the lungs. Prognosis of this condition is not good, and many develop mesothelioma, asbestos-related cancer, as a result.

Asbestosis symptoms- While symptoms of this disease may vary from person to person, they generally include persistent coughing, chest infections, unexplained weight loss, chest pain, coughing up blood, trouble breathing, and hoarseness. Although there is no cure for this condition, early prevention may provide you with treatment options to help you cope with the symptoms. Typically, patients are unaware that there is a problem at all, and when symptoms are revealed, the condition has usually progressed for years.

Asbestosis treatments- When symptoms are noticed and a physical exam is completed, doctors may begin by conducting chest x-rays, followed by MRIs and CAT scans to determine if the condition has caused tumors, which could indicate mesothelioma. These types of equipment can also detect lesions and thickening of the pleural tissues, which surround the lungs. When asbestosis is diagnosed, doctors recommend halting the use of tobacco products and staying clear of all asbestos materials. Smoking greatly increases one's chances of suffering from complications related to the disorder. He or she may also recommend that you receive vaccinations, as these decrease your chances of contracting other ailments that could negatively impact the lungs, including the flu and pneumonia. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat infections of the lungs, and breathing techniques can also help the individual suffering from fatigue and weight loss. Surgical procedures and additional medication may be performed to reduce the amount of mucous surrounding the lungs. However, the most important prevention method is hygiene. One diagnosed with asbestosis needs to avoid contracting respiratory infections, so cleanliness may be the best defense. Early detection and changes in one's life style can allow the individual to continue living with regular checkups and screening.

If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis and believe it was due to negligence of your employer, contact an attorney to help you file a claim. Today, employers must adhere to strict regulations regarding asbestos safety. However, prior to 1980, such regulations did not exist. Nevertheless, business owners were warned of the dangers associated with this substance for years, and those choosing to ignore these warnings deserve to pay the price. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed pertaining to personal injuries, negligence, and unlawful deaths, all related to asbestos diseases. If you are currently receiving treatments for your condition, compensation from your employer may be within your reach. Medical expenses are costly, and you should not be forced to deal with them alone. An attorney is your best resource to solving your problems.


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