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Asbestos and Its Correlation With Killer Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a fire-proof and hardy mineral often used in construction. However, despite its conveniences, the asbestos dust and fibers when inhaled can lead to deadly lung cancers, such as mesothelioma. Workers who were exposed to asbestos often are not aware that they are in danger as mesothelioma has a long latency period and symptoms of it may not appear for up to forty years after exposure. Often tradespeople are at the highest risk.

Asbestos has been used since the times of the Ancient Greeks, but its dangers are a modern-day issue. Asbestos was used often in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries because of its high tolerance to heat and its usefulness in fireproof insulation. However, recently it has been exposed that when inhaled, asbestos causes deadly lung conditions such as mesothelioma.

Occupational Exposure and Dangers To Workers

After noticing that chronic diseases, especially cancers of the lung such as mesothelioma, were extremely common in construction workers who were exposed to asbestos, doctors began making a connection between asbestos and mesothelioma. Unfortunately, construction and other workers who were exposed to asbestos from the 1950s through the 1970s, when the dangers of asbestos were more fully recognized, are still suffering from the ill effects of asbestos exposure at work. There are now laws and regulations in place that are designed to prevent workers from exposure to toxic asbestos; however, these laws cannot undo years upon years of exposure to this deadly mineral in the workplace.

Delayed Diagnosis Due To Long Dormancy Period

Workers may have been exposed to asbestos in the 1970s, but may only just now be developing the tell-tale symptoms of mesothelioma. This is because the disease is slow to manifest, which challenges doctors struggling to diagnose and treat mesothelioma patients in time. Because its symptoms take so long to manifest and often align themselves with those of other diseases, mesothelioma in workers may be misdiagnosed as pneumonia or other diseases during its early stages.

Symptoms of mesothelioma include:

* shortness of breath;

* abdominal swelling;

* pain of the abdomen;

* blood clotting problems;

* chest pain;

* chronic cough;

* heart palpitations;

* fever;

* labored breath;

* weight loss.

Pleural, peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma are all possible variations of the deadly cancer, with pleural (lung) mesothelioma the most commonly manifested version of the disease.

High-Risk Professions

Though the use of asbestos is now regulated by laws and regulations, the disease's long dormancy period means that it still has a high number of potential victims. Some professions are at a higher risk than others for asbestos exposure and the subsequent contraction of mesothelioma and these involve continuous exposure to asbestos in its industrial form. These professions include:

* electricians;

* painters;

* insulators;

* carpenters;

* bricklayers;

* construction workers;

* mechanics;

* other tradespeople, in particulal, people who worked in home or commercial construction prior to the 1970s.

The families of these workers were also at risk, since they may have inhaled or ingested asbestos through the employee's clothing or hair.

Legal Options

Because of the huge number of potentially affected workers, there has been a significant amount of litigation against companies who irresponsibly used asbestos, exposing their workers to the threat of mesothelioma and other life-threatening asbestos-related illnesses. It is essential to consult your doctor to discuss a treatment plan if you are suffering from exposure to asbestos. Then contact an asbestos attorney who is experienced in mesothelioma litigation. A competent asbestos lawyer may be able to help you recover damages for the pain and suffering incurred through asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, defray the costs of treatmentFree Web Content, and provide for your children if you die of the disease.

Article Tags: Asbestos Exposure

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