According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer accounts for the second-highest number of cancer diagnoses each year in the United States. The disease affects both men and women and causes the most cancer fatalities each year, with more deaths than those resulting from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancer cases, but workplace hazards can lead to it, as well.
Workers who have experienced exposure to radon or asbestos during the course of their employment have an increased risk of developing lung cancer, especially those who worked with or around it before major studies led to a decrease in large amounts of the substance in industrial environments. Regulations on its use came too late for many people who had exposure to radon or asbestos prior to their implementation, as lung cancer caused by these substances can take years to develop.
If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer as a result of your occupational exposure to asbestos or radon or you lost a loved one who had exposure to these carcinogens, a North Dakota lung cancer lawyer can help you hold the company accountable for the harm they caused. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099 to get started on your case.
The Dangers of Radon
An odorless and colorless gas, radon occurs in nature due to the breakdown of uranium and other radioactive elements. In some cases, it can seep into the air or water supply, where it breaks down into tiny particles. When those particles enter the lungs, they become lodged and release radiation, which can eventually cause lung cancer. Everyone has some level of radon exposure, but workers in certain industries may have had more contact with the gas than others.
Radon became recognized as a known carcinogen after rigorous studies in the 1990s and early 2000s. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), radon causes the highest number of lung cancer cases behind cigarette smoking and claims the lives of 21,000 people per year. It is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers.
Occupational Exposure to Radon
Many radon-related lung cancer cases result from exposure to high levels of radon in the workplace. Prior to increased regulations, workers in many industries came into contact with radon on a regular basis. An article in Radiation Protection Dosimetry (RPD) lists some of the primary industries in which employees experienced radon exposure, which include:
- Underground mining
- Uranium and phosphate
- Cave and mine tourism
- Alternative medicine
If you received a lung cancer diagnosis after working in one of these industries or another industry in which you had exposure to radon, a North Dakota lung cancer lawyer can help you pursue financial awards.
Risks Associated with Developing Radon-Related Lung Cancer
Radon-related lung cancer occurs more commonly in smokers, but other factors can also contribute to your risk of developing lung cancer due to radon exposure. They include:
- Age during exposure
- Duration of exposure
- Levels of radiation exposure
- Time spent in an environment containing high levels of radon
- Water source
- Time since exposure to radon ended
Employers have a responsibility to protect their workforce, and despite studies in the 1980s and 1990s demonstrating the cancer-causing properties of radon, many companies continued to ignore them, putting their employees at risk.
If you or a loved one received a lung cancer diagnosis in North Dakota as a result of occupational radon exposure, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek financial recovery. Contact our legal team online at any time, and we will respond as soon as possible to discuss your case with you.
Dangers of Asbestos
Like radon, asbestos occurs naturally. This mineral has fiber-like particles that, while contained, do not present a threat to human health. However, when disturbed, they release into the air and can lead to accidental ingestion. The tiny particles then become stuck in the lung tissue, where they can lead to irritation, scarring, and lung cancer.
The risks of radon became more well known in the 1970s, when cancer cases linked to the substance began to rise. In response, the U.S. imposed regulations on the uses and manufacturing of asbestos-containing products, which played a role in decreasing exposure in homes and workplaces. Unfortunately, the U.S. did not follow the lead of the European Union, which banned asbestos entirely in 2005.
Industries That Exposed Workers to Asbestos
While all people encounter asbestos at some point in their lives, the levels that workers in certain industries experienced contribute significantly to instances of asbestos-related cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), industries in which people often worked with or around asbestos include:
- Mining and milling
- Textile manufacturing
- Construction and building
Even after exposure decreases, the asbestos fibers in the lungs can lead to the development of cancer many years later.
Factors that Affect Your Risk for Asbestos-Related Cancer
All forms of asbestos can cause cancer, and no safe level of exposure exists. However, certain factors can influence your risk of developing asbestos-related cancers, such as:
- Dose of asbestos
- Duration of exposure
- Type of asbestos fibers
- Source of exposure
- Individual risk factors and genetics
If you received a lung cancer diagnosis due to asbestos exposure, your doctor can help you determine your treatment options and a North Dakota lung cancer lawyer can help you seek financial awards.
North Dakota Statutes of Limitations on Lung Cancer Claims
Each state has its own statutes of limitations, or time limits, during which victims and their loved ones can file claims for financial recovery. North Dakota victims whose doctors diagnosed them with lung cancer as a result of their occupational exposure to asbestos or radon typically have up to six years to file suit for their injuries, while certain family members of victims can often file a wrongful death suit against the liable party up to two years after the date of their loved one’s death. A lawyer can determine how much time you have to file and get started on your case right away to help you avoid potential delays in the process.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today to Get Started
For decades, professionals in many industries worked hard to provide for themselves and their families only to find later that their workplace exposure to radon or asbestos led to their diagnosis with lung cancer. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our attorneys can help you hold the company you worked for accountable for the harm they caused. Contact us today at (800) 217-6099 to discuss your case in a free evaluation with our legal team.