According to the EPA asbestos is “The name given to a number of naturally occurring fibrous minerals with high tensile strength, the ability to be woven, and resistance to heat and most chemicals. Because of these properties, asbestos fibers have been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, including roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper and cement products, textiles, coatings, and friction products such as automobile clutch, brake and transmission parts.”
Asbestos related lung disease occurs through airborne exposure. The greater your exposure is to asbestos containing materials the greater your chances are of becoming afflicted with an asbestos related illness. Other documented health risks, such as smoking, also increases these chances.
There are times when your chances of exposure are at their greatest. When a building is being demolished or remodeled, such as a business or home, asbestos fiber particles can be disturbed and allowed to circulate freely through the air and be deposited on any surface within the area. This is only a possibility if asbestos containing materials were used in the construction of your home or business. If asbestos containing materials were used and demolition or remodeling disturbs the particles they can be inhaled by the people and animals in the area. Once the particles are inhaled they can become embedded in the lung tissue and over time cause many health issues such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestosis is a very serious and progressive non-cancer illness that can have long-term consequences. Inhaled asbestos fibers can irritate the lining of the lungs and cause permanent scarring which makes it extremely difficult for the lungs to function properly in the exchange of carbon dioxide with oxygen. Sadly, there is no treatment for persons suffering from asbestosis.
Lung cancer is another disease that can be causes by exposure to asbestos particles and is responsible for the largest number of deaths due to asbestos particle exposure. Those most at risk for lung cancer are people who were employed in the mining, processing, and manufacturing of asbestos containing products. People who experienced this type of exposure or used asbestos containing products in the course of their employment are more at risk to develop lung cancer when compared to the population in general.
Mesothelioma is an asbestos related rare type of cancer that can affect the abdomen, chest, heart, and lungs. It can take many years to develop and progress to point where it can be diagnosed. Currently there is no cure for Mesothelioma and people who are affected by it can face many years of medical appointments, treatments, and related therapies.
It is in your best interest to get your home or business inspected for asbestos before beginning a demolition or remodeling project. It is better to prevent exposure than to have to deal with the aftermath of it. If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, asbestos containing products, or an area that may have contained asbestos where demolition or remodeling was being performed you should contact a doctor or medical professional who deals specifically with asbestos exposure and related illnesses. You should also contact an experienced attorney skilled in cases involving asbestos related illness who can best represent you. Any illness caused by asbestos is serious and requires immediate attention. Finding an attorney with the required expertise and compassion to represent your concerns and needs is the best way to help you get the compensation you deserve.