Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is heat and fire resistant. Unfortunately, when the fibers that make up asbestos are released into the air and then inhaled by humans, they can cause a whole host of medical issues. As trial attorneys with vast experience litigating asbestos cases, we know that the physical consequences of asbestos inhalation can be dire.
Notwithstanding those dangers, asbestos was used up through the 1970s in a variety of products, including:
- Adhesives, sealants, & paints
- Automotive parts that are at risk of overheating from friction, such as brakes or clutches
- Building materials like block insulation, drywall, roof shingles, and tiles
- Plumbing materials such as gaskets, hoses, and valves
- Packing materials
- Powdered cements and mortar mixes
- Some cloth and fabrics
- Bricks for fireplaces or other building materials used for heat control
It is estimated that millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos fibers in a wide variety of industries, particularly through products used for insulation, friction control, and fireproofing.
Over the last several decades, many of these workers have developed diseases that have been directly linked to asbestosis exposure. Some of these diseases are benign at first. They tend to show up sooner than their more serious counterparts but typically have better outcomes of success. The benign conditions that can result from asbestos exposure include:
- This disease is characterized by light scarring and inflammation in the lungs. It can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and clubbed fingers. In severe cases, Asbestosis can prove fatal.
- This is a build-up of fluid between the pleural layers of the lungs. On their own, they are quite painful, but unlikely to be life-threatening. Unfortunately, however, pleural effusions are a major symptom of mesothelioma or bronchogenic carcinomas.
- These are calcified buildups on the pleura that can result from asbestos exposure. They are typically not life-threatening, but they can cause extreme pain.
- Here, asbestos fibers lodge in the lung, causing great inflammation in the pleura. This can cause intense pain in the chest or shoulder.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):
- Asbestos exposure is said to increase one’s risk of obtaining COPD, which is characterized by severe lung inflammation and excess mucus.
Sadly, there are more severe and oft-fatal diseases that can also result from asbestos exposure. They include:
- this is the quintessential asbestos-related cancer and is responsible for roughly 3,000 deaths per year in the United States alone.
- Asbestos is only responsible for a small portion of lung cancer cases. Nonetheless, it is one of the most highly-fatal consequences of asbestos exposure.
- As recently as 2009, researchers confirmed a link between asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer and adds another layer of danger for women who have been exposed to asbestos fibers.
- There is a proven link between exposure to asbestos and this throat cancer.
The companies that manufactured products containing asbestos were aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1940s. Although these companies knew that the products they manufactured would cause workers to develop these potentially fatal diseases, they did not warn the workers of the dangers. Instead, these companies chose to conceal the asbestos hazard and continue to profit from their products.
It’s no surprise that some workers are at greater risk for contracting these diseases than others. At particular risk are workers from the following industries:
- Construction workers
- Industrial workers
- Power plant workers
- Shipyard workers
If you worked in one of these industries and are suffering from symptoms that may suggest an asbestos-related illness, you need to see a medical doctor as soon as possible. If your diagnosis confirms an illness stemming from asbestos exposure, your next call should be to a trial lawyer with expertise in asbestos cases.
The Harrison Davis trial lawyers specializing in asbestos exposure have been representing workers who were injured as a result of asbestos exposure for well over a decade. Our clients worked in a variety of industries, including shipyards, paper mills, steel mills, and pipe foundries.
Contact Our Experienced Asbestos Exposure Lawyers
For additional information about asbestos lung damage, or to discuss your injury claim with an experienced Texas trial lawyer specializing in asbestos damage claims, please call us at 800-460-2756 (toll free). If you prefer, you can fill out our online intake form and we will contact you. The consultation is free; the advice priceless.