Signs That You May be Suffering From Asbestos Exposure
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Justin A. Smith with Sloan Firm.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used in all sorts of products throughout history, but only became federally regulated in the 1970s; however, unbeknownst to the early manufacturers of these products, inhaling or consuming asbestos fibers can lead to a variety of extremely dangerous health conditions. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other lung cancers have all been linked to asbestos exposure. The trouble with asbestos exposure is that in most cases, it takes time for the injury to the body to become symptomatic. For those who were exposed to asbestos in their home or work environment in the past, they may not discover the damage to their body until 20 or 30 years in the future when they are already living and working elsewhere.
The unique time-delay nature of asbestos exposure symptoms is part of the reason it is so important to contact a mesothelioma attorney if you or a loved one have suffered from asbestos exposure. In most cases, it takes the help of an experienced professional to track down the original source of the asbestos, as well as to collect the necessary evidence linking that exposure to one person’s condition.
Symptoms of harmful exposure to asbestos may 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)
These symptoms coincide both with asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of mesothelioma. Other lung cancers, ovarian cancer, and laryngeal cancer have all been linked to asbestos exposure. Lung cancer and pneumonia may also present with the above symptoms, and may or may not be related to exposure to asbestos in addition to other noncancerous conditions.
If you or a loved one work or worked in the following fields, you may be more at risk of asbestos exposure than others:
- Military employees
- Veterans (especially Navy veterans)
- Asbestos miners
- Refinery workers
- Construction workers
- Industrial workers
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) workers
- Railroad workers
- Shipyard workers
Those who work in construction or some form of manual labor are most at risk of suffering from asbestos exposure. Others who may be at risk of asbestos exposure are those who live or work around old buildings, or who renovate old houses.
The effects of asbestos exposure are serious.
Some conditions caused by asbestos exposure are not necessarily lethal, but are almost always painful, both for the victim and their family. Mesothelioma is one of the most common conditions linked to exposure to asbestos and is both painful and extremely difficult to recover from. Medical treatment for asbestos-related health conditions can be expensive and ongoing; it’s important to look into your options for recovery as soon as possible if you suspect that yourself or a loved one were injured by asbestos exposure.