Despite well-established knowledge of its dangers, most people develop lung cancer from smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products. While smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, many non-smokers develop lung cancer unknowingly by breathing dangerous substances, usually two in particular—asbestos and radon gas.
Typical Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Many people live with undiagnosed lung cancer, and some primary symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Chest pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent headaches
- Bone pain
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough
If you exhibit one or more of these symptoms over an extended period, you should consult a medical professional to rule out lung cancer as a cause. If you receive a diagnosis of lung cancer as a non-smoker, exposure to other substances may play a part.
Thousands of Lung Cancer Patients Die Each Year Without Ever Smoking
Some people incorrectly believe that non-smokers cannot develop lung cancer. Tens of thousands of people die each year from lung cancer caused by something other than smoking, according to an Environmental Health study. Asbestos and radon gas, two naturally occurring yet carcinogenic substances, comprise two of the leading causes of lung cancer in non-smokers.
Asbestos Rests in Millions of Homes in America
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral found in certain rocks, has a fibrous quality that makes it highly resistant to both fire and corrosion. For this reason, manufacturers frequently used it in as many as 30 million homes in America alone and even more non-home structures, according to PBS.
Studies have linked asbestos exposure directly to lung disorders, including asbestosis and mesothelioma. Though governments have taken steps to ban asbestos in some forms, they have not completely banned it. Some places in a home or other building where you may find asbestos include:
- In heat-resistant fabrics
- In certain textured paints
- In certain roofing materials, including some shingles
- On the insulation surrounding pipes, walls, attics, or heating devices
Because of its prevalence in home-building materials, some groups live at an elevated risk of breathing carcinogenic asbestos fibers, including pipefitters, demolition crews, employees who work near insulation, such as A/C repair teams and pest control specialists, and construction workers.
If you have never or only rarely smoked and received a diagnosis for lung cancer, breathing asbestos fibers could have caused your cancer. Radon gas presents another possible cause.
Another Naturally Occurring Cancer Causer
Radon gas occurs naturally, arising when uranium breaks down in rock, water, or soil. When it disperses in an outdoor environment, radon gas remains relatively harmless. When trapped indoors, it steadily builds over time, creating deadly levels of exposure.
Odorless and invisible, radon is especially deadly for those who spend significant amounts of time in structures with poor ventilation, such as basements and other windowless rooms.
Radon gas causes somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Individuals who oversee structures must conduct regular radon testing or put others at risk of developing lung cancer. This means that some possible defendants in a radon exposure case may include employers, landlords, building managers, and government municipalities.
If you are a non-smoker who has developed lung cancer, do some research on the prevalence of radon in areas where you have lived, worked, or spent significant amounts of time. Somebody may have failed to protect you from dangerous levels of radon.
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A Lawyer May Help Your Radon or Asbestos Exposure Case
Once you decide to pursue compensation based on a likelihood of radon or asbestos exposure, a lawyer may prove helpful in the process by documenting your account of how exposure most likely occurred and handling all legal proceedings for your case.
Possible Awards in an Exposure Case
Potential awards in your case may cover:
- The cost of cancer treatment
- Lost wages or diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
You could be entitled to additional awards, especially if your case becomes a wrongful death claim over time.
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At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we care that our clients do not suffer any additional harm and strive to represent their best interests. Call our team today at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation. You pay nothing upfront and nothing out of pocket.
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