Mesothelioma and Asbestosis: Asbestos and At-Risk Populations
The relationship between asbestos and diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis has only been studied since the late 1970s. Until then, asbestos was widely used in a variety of industries in the U.S. because of its ability to withstand heat and chemicals. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the unique properties of asbestos made it ideal in industrial applications and consequently most of those exposed to it were exposed in the workplace. Who was most at risk?
- Unprotected workers who made, installed, or removed products containing asbestos. And people who worked near those who did these jobs also are at risk.
- Family members of workers who were exposed to asbestos. Family members may have breathed in asbestos fibers that workers brought home on their clothes, shoes, or bodies.
- People who lived in areas with large deposits of asbestos in the soil, where the deposits were disturbed and asbestos fibers escaped into the air.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our Florida mesothelioma lawyers may be able to help you and your family pursue compensation. For a free asbestos mesothelioma claim evaluation, contact our Florida mesothelioma law firm. We offer:
- Free consultation with an experienced Florida mesothelioma lawyer
- No attorney fees unless you recover money
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Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma grows in the tissue that lines organs, called the mesothelium. It is considered a rare disease because there are only 2,500 to 3,000 new cases annually.
- The most common form is called pleural mesothelioma because the initial tumors are found in the pleural lining of the lungs.
- The second most common form is peritoneal mesothelioma, which is initially found in the lining of the abdominal cavity.
- The other forms of the disease, pericardial mesothelioma, originating in the pericardium or sac around the heart, and mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis, or lining of the testes, are extremely rare.
All forms of the disease have a poor prognosis. This is partly because mesothelioma is seldom diagnosed early on and there's a lack of testing procedures in place for suspected mesothelioma, so it is difficult to identify in its earliest stages. However, continued research may be working to change that.
Asbestosis Exposure and Asbestosis
Asbestosis is a non-cancerous breathing disorder found in people who were exposed to high levels of asbestos over an extended period of time. As individuals inhale asbestos fibers and dust, it becomes trapped in the alveoli (the sacs inside the lungs where carbon dioxide in the blood is filtered out and replaced with oxygen). The progression of asbestosis is often as follows:
- The lung tissue becomes inflamed
- The inflammation over time results in scar tissue
- The build-up of scar tissue prevents the carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange from taking place
- Breathing becomes increasingly difficult
Asbestosis is typically chronic, with sufferers experiencing periods of stability, but never a full return to total wellness. However, there is also seldom a rapid progression of the disease once diagnosed. It is important to note that asbestosis does put a patient at increased risk of infection. And they may also be at risk for lung cancer and other cancers associated with asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma and asbestosis strike at-risk populations who were exposed to high levels of asbestos in the workplace without warning. If you have been exposed to asbestos on the job, contact our experienced Florida mesothelioma lawyers for a free consultation.