Asbestos is a fiber found in nature that has been commonly used in a variety of building materials. Because asbestos is known to have potentially harmful side effects, if you were exposed to asbestos you should continue to monitor any symptoms of disease and seek guidance from a medical professional. Asbestos can lead to a number of diseases, specifically conditions in the lung. It is also a known carcinogen.
Speaking with a medical professional can help you determine if your exposure has put you at risk for asbestos-related diseases. Identifying the symptoms for asbestos-related diseases can take years, as they often only reveal themselves later in life. You may also want to consider your legal options during this time. If you were exposed due to another party failing to disclose the presence of asbestos to you or for other reasons, you could be entitled to financial compensation.
Sources of Asbestos
Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance, but because it was once regularly used in building materials and other goods, it has come into the spotlight more than other naturally toxic substances. While some commonly used items may have asbestos, the dangers of asbestos depend largely on the intensity and duration of exposure, as well as other contributing risk factors. Asbestos fibers can circulate in the surrounding air of the source, creating a dangerous environment for those nearby.
While federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency implemented different forms of regulation, asbestos-containing materials used in buildings prior to these regulations are still present. Certain occupations, such as construction workers, janitorial staff, and others, could be more at risk for the harmful long-term effects of asbestos. You may have been exposed to asbestos if you came into contact with the following:
- Automobile clutches
- Construction materials, such as insulation and roofing
- Brake pads
- Potting soil
While asbestos can be found in numerous other forms, the aforementioned list encompasses several common products that could lead to exposure. Due to the prevalence of asbestos, exposure to this substance may happen to many people. If you were exposed to asbestos you should seek immediate medical attention if you are noticing symptoms of lung disease. Exposure to asbestos can be detrimental to your long-term health.
Potential Health Effects of Asbestos
In some cases, exposure to asbestos can lead to serious lung diseases, including mesothelioma. According to Cancer.Net from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and can also manifest in the abdominal region. According to the National Cancer Institute, some studies suggest that asbestos can additionally cause cancer in the stomach, pharynx, colon, and rectum.
Asbestos has also been known to cause asbestosis. This condition is characterized by coughing, shortness of breath, and other forms of lung damage.
There are secondary factors, like smoking, that can increase the risk of disease following exposure to asbestos. Genetics can also play a role in your likelihood of developing lung cancer.
Understanding the symptoms of lung disease is important. The earlier you notice symptoms and seek medical help, the more time your doctor has to diagnose the condition and develop a treatment plan.
Symptoms of Lung Disease
The symptoms of lung diseases and conditions can be different depending on the condition, but if you are exhibiting any of the following symptoms you could be suffering from a form of lung disease:
- Coughing that persists for an extended period of time or worsens
- Coughing up blood
- Unintentional weight loss or sudden loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, or other breathing difficulties
- Sharp or sudden chest pain
Nothing is more important than your health. If you think that you or a loved one could be suffering from a lung disease, do not delay getting the help you need. Every day could be significant in the diagnosis and treatment of a disease.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
If you would like to learn more about your legal options, a team member at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to answer your questions and discuss your case in detail. Depending on your situation, you could be eligible for financial compensation, which could include reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, punitive damages, and more. Call (800) 794-0444 to learn more about what to do if you were exposed to asbestos.