Asbestos exposure can lead to a number of deadly diseases and harmful conditions. Victims of asbestos exposure may experience asbestosis, a respiratory disease that leads to scar tissue forming in the lungs. The scar tissue prevents the lungs from freely exchanging gases and expanding and contracting properly. A doctor can make make a diagnosis of asbestos after running a series of test and consulting with a B-reader. A B-reader is a specially trained doctor who can read chest x-rays and make a determination of asbestosis.
Beyond asbestosis, exposure to asbestos can cause several other major diseases, including some rare forms not traditionally associated with asbestos. For instance, peritoneal mesothelioma is an asbestos-derived cancer that appears in the abdomen. Other patients may be diagnosed with pleural thickening where the asbestos scarring is spread out and defused throughout the lining of the lungs.
Mesothelioma is a lung cancer that is caused only by exposure to asbestos. It is a highly aggressive disease that is usually the result of prolonged exposure, and while there are ever-expanding treatment options, there is currently no cure.
Asbestos leaves behind a specific trail that can be conclusively linked to many types of asbestos exposure, pleural thickening and mesothelioma. This makes the manufacturers of asbestos products directly responsible for the destruction and suffering this product has caused. The courts have recognized this, making it possible for victims, and the families of victims, to recover compensation for their suffering. Beginning in the 1980’s, a number of high-profile lawsuits began to hold the manufacturers of asbestos responsible for the devastating effects the product had on the lives of thousands.