Exposure to asbestos is the most common cause of mesothelioma lung cancer. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that was mined and used in a wide range of products for decades. Many people who develop mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos long before they began to show symptoms of the disease, and they may be unsure when and how they were exposed to the carcinogen.
How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Lung Cancer
Asbestos was frequently used in construction materials, such as tile and drywall. It was a component in several types of vehicle parts, including transmissions, brake pads, and clutches. Asbestos was used in fireproof clothing and in military facilities, such as ships and shipyards. It was also commonly found at commercial and industrial sites, such as power plants, steel mills, oil refineries, chemical plants, textile factories, and mines.
If asbestos is disturbed in some way, workers can inhale fibers. Those fibers can accumulate in the lungs and may eventually cause mesothelioma. Construction workers, contractors, mechanics, firefighters, military service members, and industrial workers may have been exposed to asbestos on the job if they were not warned of the danger and given appropriate protective equipment.
Workers’ families may have also been exposed to the toxic substance. Employees may have transported asbestos fibers from their workplaces to their homes via their clothing, hair, and skin. In some cases, secondhand exposure caused mesothelioma lung cancer in relatives of people who worked around asbestos.
The carcinogen was also used in a wide array of household goods, such as cosmetics, appliances, potholders, and cigarette filters. According to the National Cancer Institute, some mesothelioma lung cancer patients were exposed to asbestos by using everyday products that contained the substance.
Asbestos Use Widespread at One Time
Products with asbestos were so common in the past that it is likely that nearly everyone in the United States has come into contact with it at some point. People who were exposed to large amounts of asbestos or who were exposed to it over long periods of time have a greater risk of developing mesothelioma lung cancer than those with limited exposure.
The U.S. government began to regulate the use, with asbestos laws and regulations, in the 1970s because of concerns about the health hazards associated with it, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There is evidence, however, that some manufacturers knew about the risk of asbestos exposure but concealed that information. The use of asbestos has not been completely banned, and some products still contain small amounts of it.
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Symptoms of Mesothelioma Lung Cancer
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the mesothelium, or a lining that surrounds the lungs and some other organs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of the disease. It affects the pleura, or the lining around the lungs, and makes it more difficult for them to expand and contract.
Pleural mesothelioma is often initially mistaken for other conditions with similar symptoms and signs, according to Cancer.Net. By the time patients are correctly diagnosed with mesothelioma, the disease is often at an advanced stage. Those patients tend to have a poor prognosis.
How a Mesothelioma Attorney May Be Able to Help Your Family
Finding out that you have mesothelioma lung cancer is devastating. You and your family may be in shock and thinking about how the diagnosis will affect your health and quality of life. Pain and difficulty breathing may make it impossible to work, care for your loved ones, and do things you used to enjoy. You and your spouse may be wondering how you will pay for costly medical treatments on top of your other bills.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we understand the stress and anxiety that a diagnosis of mesothelioma lung cancer can cause. We have represented many clients who faced similar circumstances. Our team worked to help those clients seek financial compensation for their illnesses, and we may be able to help you.
Since decades typically pass between exposure to asbestos and the onset of mesothelioma symptoms, many patients have no idea when or how they were exposed. Our work with mesothelioma clients has enabled us to create a database with information on many companies, locations, and products that were responsible for other people’s exposure to asbestos. That information could help us figure out what caused your mesothelioma lung cancer.
We may suggest filing a personal injury lawsuit against the company responsible. If that business has declared bankruptcy, we may be able to seek a financial award from an asbestos trust fund. Many companies that dealt with a flood of mesothelioma lawsuits filed for bankruptcy protection and set up trust funds, as outlined by the United States Government Accountability Office, to compensate victims.
Facing mesothelioma is frightening, but you do not have to battle it alone. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek justice. Call our office at (800) 794-0444 to talk to a member of our team.