For years, the dangers of asbestos have been communicated through television and radio ads, healthcare providers, and more. As a result, you probably know that asbestos is a harmful material, but you may have questions about how it can affect you. For example, will one exposure to asbestos cause cancer?
Asbestos could be in your home, your school or your office building, so you need to understand your risk of exposure and illness. Are you in danger of an asbestos-related disease?
Asbestos is a substance that was once commonly used in many products, especially building and plumbing materials. Older homes and commercial buildings may still contain asbestos, although the government now strictly regulates its use because it is a known health risk.
Asbestos poses several risks; it is a carcinogen that can cause a rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma. It can also cause asbestosis, a condition that seriously harms the respiratory system; the lungs become scarred and breathing becomes difficult. These diseases are life-threatening and in the case of mesothelioma, fatal.
Asbestos becomes dangerous when something disturbs it. For instance, replacing old ceiling tile that contains asbestos is dangerous because the fibers are knocked loose, allowing you to breathe them in. Construction workers who used asbestos materials are at high risk of illness because of their long-term exposure. Other high-risk jobs include:
- Asbestos mining and milling
- Demolition workers
- Asbestos removal professionals
Asbestos exists naturally in the environment as well, so everyone is exposed at low levels throughout their lives. Most people with limited exposure are not at risk of developing asbestos-related health issues. A one-time exposure will most likely not cause you to get mesothelioma or asbestosis. Regular and/or prolonged exposure to the fibers is dangerous.
Asbestosis symptoms may not show up for 10-40 years after your first exposure. Common signs of this illness include:
- Shortness of breath
- Lingering dry cough
- Weight loss and little appetite
- Chest pain or tightness
- Unusually wide, round fingertips and toes known as clubbing
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin layer of tissue that covers most human organs. It occurs in several forms. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Unusual tissue lumps under your chest skin
- Unexplained weight loss.
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects abdominal tissue and causes these symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
Sadly, mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that is treatable, but not curable.
If you’ve contracted a disease because of asbestos exposure, you and your family face daunting medical and legal challenges. Treatment for these aggressive diseases is expensive, and the outlook for mesothelioma patients is grim. With the help of the experienced environmental lawyers from Napoli Shkolnik, you can take legal action against those who carelessly exposed you to asbestos and potentially receive financial relief.
These cases are complex, however, which is why you need a lawyer skilled in asbestos-related law with a history of success. At Napoli Shkolnik, we have the experience you need for a successful outcome. For more information, take advantage of our free case evaluation. Fill out our short online form, chat online with a knowledgeable representative, or give us a call.