In some cases, lungs can get rid of asbestos as the human body can cough out or otherwise expel inhaled asbestos fibers. However, some of these fibers can remain in your lungs for the rest of your life. There are no known ways to remove fibers from the body if they do not clear or break down on their own, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
While all types of fibers can become embedded in the lungs and parts of the respiratory system and cause cancer and other serious medical concerns, some are easier for the body to clear naturally than others.
The Respiratory System Can Get Rid of Some Fibers
When a person experiences heavy exposure to asbestos, they breathe in thousands or even millions of asbestos fibers. This can happen with heavy exposure over a short period or a moderate exposure over a long period. Occupational exposure is most common, but some people are exposed away from work as well.
You may cough and expel mucus and fibers from your throat, either pushing them out of the body or swallowing them. This is your body’s natural defense against asbestos and other particles you inhale.
Many of the fibers that do make it into your lungs will break down and degrade over time. Still, others will remain trapped in the lung tissue. As you breathe in more fibers, these will accumulate and can eventually lead to serious medical concerns, including:
When asbestos fibers embed deep in your lung tissue and do not break down, they will remain there for the rest of your life. You will likely experience no symptoms for 10 to 20 years. Asbestos-related conditions generally take time to develop. Once problems do develop, they may be life-threatening or even aggressive and terminal.
Some Types of Asbestos Fibers Are Easier to Expel Than Others
There are two primary types of asbestos fibers used in the United States. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, these include:
The body handles these fibers in different ways. While both can cause serious medical conditions such as cancer and asbestosis, the body can generally handle chrysotile fibers more easily. These fibers are long, flexible, and very light. They are the most common asbestos fiber used in the United States.
Amphibole fibers are straight and brittle. They resemble tiny needles that stick in tissue and do not move. They are more difficult for the body’s natural defenses to remove. They are also more likely to penetrate deep enough to cause mesothelioma.
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Pursuing an Asbestos Mass Tort Claim or Lawsuit
If you receive a diagnosis of an asbestos-related medical condition, you may be eligible to pursue an award that could help cover the cost of your treatment and compensate you for your pain and suffering and other losses. A mass tort against asbestos companies responsible for exposure to these fibers is ongoing.
Because people adversely affected by this dangerous material have pursued compensation for decades, many of these companies filed for bankruptcy over the years. According to the United States Government Accountability Office, when the first major case went to bankruptcy court in 1988, the court demanded they create a trust fund for future claimants. These trust funds are still in operation today. Some pay out only a percentage of your total losses, but some still pay 100%.
You can file a claim or a lawsuit if you can prove:
- You suffered asbestos exposure.
- You have a diagnosis of an asbestos-related medical condition.
- You suffered related expenses and losses.
You may want to discuss your case with an attorney who knows how to navigate this process in your state. The attorneys from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm offer free case reviews of your asbestos cancer case or case based on another related illness.
We will not back down from tough cases. If you suffer a serious medical condition because of the asbestos fibers you inhaled, we believe the asbestos company should pay, not your family.
Our case evaluations and initial consultations are always free, and our clients never pay anything upfront. You will have no out-of-pocket expenses. We collect our legal fees from your award or settlement check.
Call us today at (800) 794-0444 to learn more. We can schedule your free case review today.