How to Know if You Might Have Been Exposed to Asbestos
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Micah L. Satterwhite with Sloan Firm.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that used to be used in a wide variety of products and construction, and only became federally regulated in the 1970s. When the serious health risks associated with exposure to asbestos came to light, its use was largely ceased. However, people who lived and worked in certain environments may have been and/or may still be exposed to the dangerous mineral. Certain occupations may put workers at a higher risk of asbestos exposure, just as those living in or renovating an old building might be exposed to the mineral at some point in their life.
The trouble with asbestos exposure is that symptoms often do not develop until decades later. Mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer commonly associated with asbestos, and it is known to be both painful and lethal. Other conditions have also been linked to asbestos, notably including asbestosis, another painful lung condition. Due to the length of time which typically occurs between the exposure and the development of symptoms, it can be extremely difficult to track down the source of the exposure and identify a liable party. This is why it is particularly important to contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney if you or a loved one are suffering the negative health effects of possible asbestos exposure.
Workers in the following industries may have been exposed to asbestos:
- Construction workers
- Industrial workers
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) workers
- Railroad workers
- Shipyard workers
Any occupation in which the job requires someone to interact with old material, products, equipment, or construction may put workers at a higher risk of asbestos exposure. Employers in these industries are required to offer workers adequate protective gear to limit exposure as much as possible.
Signs that may indicate you are suffering from asbestos exposure include the following:
- Swelling in the face or neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
- An audible crackling sound when breathing
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Blood in the saliva
- Deformity in fingers (fingertips and toes appearing wider and rounder)
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Asbestos exposure is serious and calls for both medical and legal attention.
Due to the nature of the conditions related to asbestos exposure, they tend to worsen with time and always require medical treatment. When dealing with a condition like mesothelioma or asbestosis, medical bills can add up fast, and in the event the exposure victim dies from their condition, the family may be left in want of that person’s love and companionship as well as their income. If you or a loved one have suffered from asbestos exposure, it’s important to look into your options for financial recovery on behalf of yourself and your family. This is where an experienced asbestos attorney can help identify your damages and trace your condition back to the time of the exposure to see if there might be a source for recovery. Damages that may be compensated in a successful mesothelioma claim include but are not limited to medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even wrongful death.
If you suspect you might have been exposed to asbestos, contact a mesothelioma attorney for a free consultation to learn more about your options.