Diseases Caused By Asbestos Exposure

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Before its harmful effects were truly widely known, asbestos was held in high esteem for its many uses. It was resistant to heat, fire, chemicals, and electricity, and was therefore incorporated into a number of construction materials. However, many years after it was installed in buildings all over the country, it was discovered that asbestos exposure is incredibly harmful, and in some cases even fatal. Asbestos exposure is directly linked to a deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma and a variety of other illnesses. It is believed that over eight million Americans have been exposed to asbestos.

Occupational exposure of asbestos makes up the largest catalyst for associated diseases. Some occupations with high risk factors are insulation, pipe fitters, shipyards, electrical, and construction industries. Not all people that contract asbestos-related diseases directly work in contaminated environments; sometimes the asbestos has traveled home on clothing or in the environment. It is estimated that over 700,000 buildings in American still have asbestos within them. However, when asbestos is disturbed the fibers can enter the air, and become dangerous. Asbestos should only be removed by professionals, and the site must be considered off limits.

Asbestos causes a wide variety of physical ailments and cancer is one of the most severe forms. Therefore, thousands of people who were victims of asbestos exposure over the years are now suffering from cancer, just from performing their jobs. There are different types of cancers but the most deadly one is mesothelioma, which is caused almost primarily by asbestos exposure. Almost ninety percent of cases are caused completely by exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma is an incredibly serious form of cancer that affects the tissues surrounding the body\'s internal organs. In fact, it has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers, leaving its patients with a typical life expectancy of less than one year after diagnosis. And to make matters worse, it is a very hard disease to diagnose because the symptoms are often mistaken for other, less serious illnesses. The common symptoms of mesothelioma are shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, fevers, and loss of appetite. The reason that a lot of people don\'t get this checked out by a doctor is because many of them just think that they are getting these symptoms because they are getting older or are suffering from some minor problem that will eventually go away on its own. Therefore, if you have worked with asbestos in the past, you should be seeing your doctor on a routine schedule. This will allow the disease to get diagnosed in time, which will increase your chance of survival.

You should note that asbestos does not only cause mesothelioma but is also responsible for a crippling disease known as asbestosis. This is generally not as severe as mesothelioma but if it does not get treated in time, it can also be fatal. Unfortunately, asbestosis is another disease that is hard to diagnose for the same reasons. The symptoms are often ignored and help is not typically sought immediately, which allows the disease to progress at an incredible rate. Although asbestosis is not cancer, if left untreated it can lead to lung cancer, lung damage, heart problems, and high blood pressure in the lungs. The symptoms at the start of this disease are very similar to those of mesothelioma. Shortness of breath and body pains are the two most common complaints.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis from exposure to asbestos then you need to consult an attorney. There are many law firms that specialize solely in helping victims of asbestos related illness. Medical bills will add up quickly for the treatments and therapies that you will need. In addition, there may be a loss of wages for recovery times. You and your family may endure some pain and suffering to a certain extent. However, if your illness is a result of occupational exposure, you and your family may be entitled to compensations for these financial strains. Contact a lawyer to learn more about your rights.


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