What Health Problems Are Related to Asbestos Exposure?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of J.D. Smith with Law Office of J.D. Smith, PLLC.
Asbestos exposure is known for causing mesothelioma in those who were exposed over a period of time. Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer that is nearly always fatal, made more difficult to compensate due to the difficulty of tracing it to its original source. However, mesothelioma is not the only health problem related to asbestos exposure. In fact, even short term exposure can lead to health problems when it occurs in extreme events, such as natural disasters or catastrophic incidents.
The good news is that most short-term exposure to asbestos does not lead to health problems, so those who encounter it while conducting short-term renovations of their homes are likely not at risk. If you or a loved one are suffering from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related health problem, seek legal counsel from a mesothelioma lawyer to learn more about your options.
Health problems related to asbestos exposure include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- Asbestosis: This is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos. It involves severe fibrosis and a high risk of developing mesothelioma. Symptoms include swelling in the neck and face, difficulty swallowing, blood in saliva, a crackling sound when breathing, shortness of breath, and more. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms seek medical care immediately.
- Lung cancer: Asbestos-related lung cancers exist which are not necessarily mesothelioma, though they are caused by the same exposure to inhaled asbestos. Chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood are all symptoms of lung cancers caused by asbestos exposure.
- Pleural mesothelioma: Commonly referred to as mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer most frequently caused by exposure to asbestos. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include shortness of breath, swelling of the face or arms, fluid buildup in the pleural space of the lungs, trouble swallowing, and pain in the lower back or chest.
Symptoms of harmful asbestos exposure may not occur until years after exposure, so it can be difficult to trace the exposure back to its source. Some occupations may be more likely to expose their workers to asbestos; however, these employers are required to provide adequate protection against asbestos inhalation for their workers. If an employer fails to provide adequate protection against asbestos and an employee develops mesothelioma or another health problem as a result, they may be liable for the victim’s damages.
Occupational exposure is the primary cause of asbestos-related health problems.
Construction workers, firefighters, and industrial workers are among the occupations particularly at risk of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos used to be commonly used in many products from insulation to piping due to its cost-effectiveness. However, in recent years it has become evident that asbestos presents significant danger to those who work around it, especially those who work with products or buildings created when asbestos-use was common.
If you or a loved one have developed an asbestos-related health problem, you may be eligible for compensation.
Compensation in an asbestos-injury claim could include financial aid for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Some common parties held liable for asbestos exposure include former or current employers, asbestos manufacturers, manufacturers of products containing asbestos, and owners of asbestos-contaminated properties. Anyone who is aware that asbestos exists in their product, property, or occupation and fails to take adequate means to protect people from asbestos exposure could be held legally responsible for someone’s resulting health problems.
To learn more about health problems related to asbestos exposure or to begin seeking compensation, reach out to a mesothelioma attorney.