Minnesota Mesothelioma Lawyer

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Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer that affects people who were exposed to asbestos. The cancer affects the thin membrane known as the mesothelium. The mesothelium lines body cavities and major organs like the lungs, heart, liver, and stomach. Most cases of mesothelioma affect the mesothelium of the body cavity known as the pleura, the area that surrounds the lungs. This cavity sits between the lungs and the rib cage, so when pleural mesothelioma sets in, the pleura fills with fluid, putting painful pressure on the lungs and making it very difficult to breathe.

Asbestos fibers are very tiny, and can be breathed in very easily. They then lodge themselves in the sensitive tissues of the lungs. The immune system, which is incapable of destroying these fibers, then attempts to move them. However, they usually only end up building up the fibers in the pleura. As the fibers continue to build up, they damage the DNA in the mesothelium cells, turning them into cancerous cells.

For a very long time, asbestos was thought to be an ideal building material. It's a natural mineral that can be mined and processed very cheaply. It has an extremely low conductivity to heat and electricity, making it very resistant to fire and high voltages. Additionally, it is extremely durable and its fibers can be woven into fabric. Because of all of these properties, asbestos is an extraordinarily useful material it made for fine insulation, tiles, pipes, wires, and even clothing. Prior to the early 1980s, it was used as such in countless buildings, ships and railroads.

Unfortunately, since it was so useful, this put thousands of workers at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases. In Minnesota, 677 people died due to asbestos exposure between 1980 and 2000. Of those, 440 deaths were due to mesothelioma and 237 were due to asbestosis. Construction workers, asbestos miners and producers, and anyone who installed asbestos for building insulation purposes were put at the highest risk of exposure to asbestos.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos, many buildings still have asbestos installed. As long as this asbestos isn't released into the air, it's no threat to anyone in the building. However, if a worker involved in demolition or repair disturbs it, the asbestos becomes an immediate danger and puts that worker and anyone nearby at risk of asbestos exposure.

In addition to all the standard occupational risks that can expose a worker to mesothelioma, Minnesota has naturally occurring asbestos. In fact, the northeast portion of the state has had a 70 percent increase in mesothelioma cases since 1999. This coincides with the reopening of the iron mines that belong to the Reserve Mining Corporation. Workers in these mines collect the mineral taconite an important precursor in steel production. The Minnesota Department of Health has since investigated these mines and found that the taconite in this area was contaminated by asbestos. By the time this was discovered, however, 52 miners had already died of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, this number is expected to rise, since mesothelioma often takes decades to progress to a deadly stage.

If you have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma then it is important that you discuss the situation with a lawyer right away. A qualified attorney may be able to get you financial compensation for your medical expenses. Experience is an extremely important asset to have in a lawyer, so make sure that you hire a lawyer that has a successful track record in Mesothelioma lawsuits.


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