Asbestos: What You Need to Know
Insight from Nationwide Asbestos Exposure Lawyers in Chicago, IL
Asbestos is an organic mineral that was widely used in thousands of products until strict government regulation of the substance began in the 1970s. Asbestos was so extensively used because of its natural resistance to heat and corrosion and the country's rapid industrial growth. Asbestos featured strongly in fire-retardant materials, insulation, and automobile parts from the late 1800s through the 1970s. It is suspected that asbestos use continued through the 1980s-against government mandates.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we take asbestos exposure cases from all over the United States. Our Chicago mesothelioma lawyers handle cases nationwide, traveling to our clients at no extra cost. With our 50+ years of combined experience and insight, we are well-versed on the complexities of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cases. We partner with top litigation firms, offering a team approach for the best possible outcome for our clients. With more than 10,000 cases handled and millions of dollars won, we are ready to assist with your asbestos claim.
Ready to discuss your case with a nationally respected and trusted attorney? Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (888) 444-9136.
Types of Asbestos
There are six different types of asbestos. The three most common are:
- Chrysotile, or white asbestos, has been most commonly used in the United States. Chrysotile is found in drywall, joint compound, caulk, vinyl flooring, roofing supplies, fire blankets, fireproof clothing, popcorn ceilings, and thousands of other products. Chrysotile asbestos continues to be imported into the U.S. and used in hundreds of products today.
- Amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite are all types of brown asbestos. These materials have been used in cement, pipes used in construction, insulation, and low-density ceiling tiles. Airborne fibers are easily inhaled and severely damaging to internal organs. Anthophyllite asbestos is often found in vermiculite, and was responsible for devastating the town of Libby, Montana. A vermiculite mine run by W.R. Grace exposed miners and their families to asbestos, causing a decades-long epidemic of lung disease that continues to this day.
- Crocidolite is blue asbestos, and was used more abundantly in Africa and Australia. Crocidolite is considered the most dangerous type of asbestos.
How Does Exposure Occur?
Extracting, cutting, or any other action that disrupts asbestos can produce airborne dust and fibers. Significant health risks result-including mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer-from inhalation or ingestion of these fibers. When toxic asbestos fibers are breathed in, they build up in the lungs and lead to scarring, inflammation, and ultimately cancerous cell mutation.
Generally, those exposed to asbestos do not show symptoms of an asbestos-related disease for many years, even decades. Exposure can occur in a myriad of ways in from thousands of different products. Most commonly, exposure occurs when an industrial worker, like a construction or shipyard employee, disturbs asbestos-containing products, like insulation or piping cement. If the worker is not provided proper ventilation and protection, they inhale the asbestos dust.
Workers can also carry asbestos dust home with them on their clothing or hair, causing potential for exposure to members of their household. This is called second-hand or take-home exposure.
Most People Have Been Exposed to Asbestos.
Common asbestos products include roofing and floor tiles, car parts such as brake pads and transmission parts, and plumbing and construction pipe coatings and insulation. Thousands of products contain asbestos, however, and most people have been exposed in some amount at some point in their life.
Asbestos was used heavily in construction to insulate structures and strengthen cement and plastics. If your house was built during or before 1970, there is a high probability that there is asbestos in your home. Asbestos is considered safe when left alone in good condition, but it is best to hire an asbestos professional to assess the substance before you begin any construction or remodeling that could damage or disturb asbestos-containing products.
The shipbuilding industry used asbestos to insulate hot water and steam pipes, incinerators, and boilers. United States military veterans are highly at risk for asbestos-related illnesses, especially Navy veterans who served from World War I through the Korean War. Civilian shipyard workers are also at extreme risk.
Our asbestos exposure lawyers can help veterans obtain VA benefits. Find out more about our veteran's services here.
There Is No Safe Level of Asbestos Exposure
Although the serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure increase with heavier and longer exposures, even brief exposure is known to cause asbestos-related diseases. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Family members of those exposed to asbestos in the workplace are also at risk of developing mesothelioma, because toxic asbestos fibers can be brought into the home on the worker's clothing or skin.
It is often difficult to diagnose an asbestos illness because symptoms can lie dormant for 50 years or more. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer from our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you determine if your illness is linked to your work environment, even if you have no idea when or where you were exposed. Our firm is passionate about these types of cases. We urge you to learn more about your rights.
Questions About Your Potential Case? Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm 24/7.
Our 24-hour call-in line is available to help start your case. All cases begin with a free consultation with one of our experienced Illinois asbestos attorneys. We accept cases on a contingency fee arrangement-meaning you don't pay unless your case wins. Our office is located in Chicago, Illinois, but we handle cases in all 50 states. To get started immediately on your mesothelioma case, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now at (888) 444-9136.