Studies Suggests Higher Rates of Lung Cancer in Smokers with Chronic Exposure to Asbestos

It is well accepted in the medical community – and well documented by evidence – that both smoking and asbestos cause damage to the lungs. According to a recent article, there are some interesting relationships between smoking and asbestos exposure.

The article discusses two studies that analyzed whether people who smoked and were chronically exposed to asbestos at work faced higher risks of lung cancer:

One study from Great Britain analyzed the records of over 98,000 people who were chronically exposed to asbestos on the job from 1971 to 2005. During the study, 12% of the workers died as a result of lung cancer. After grouping workers according to their rates of exposure and smoking habits, researchers found that smokers had the highest rates of lung cancer – regardless of their asbestos-exposure levels. Workers who never smoked had the lowest levels of lung cancer. Researchers concluded that an estimated 26% of lung cancer deaths were caused – at least in part – by an interaction of asbestos and smoking.
A second study reviewed the medical records and lung health of over 2,300 workers in the insulation industry – manufacturing, installation, and removal – from 1981 through 2008. Researchers ultimately found that asbestos exposure increased the risk of lung cancer by 5.2-fold, smoking by 10.3, and both exposure and smoking by 28.4. Researchers also found that workers who had been in their positions for at least 10 years and quit smoking reduced their risk of lung cancer by half.
Both studies suggest that chronic asbestos exposure and smoking combined can substantially increase risks of lung cancer. It also suggests that quitting smoking may benefit workers who have been chronically exposed to asbestos fibers.

Given the prevalence of smoking during the time when asbestos was most widely used, our legal team at the Nemeroff Law Firm has seen and handled many cases involving smokers who were also chronically exposed to asbestos, many times while on the job. Their smoking habits, however, did not detract from the fact that asbestos is a harmful material and that they have legal rights to be fairly compensated for resulting damages associated with mesothelioma.

If you have questions about mesothelioma, your rights, or the rights of a loved one, contact our firm today for a FREE case review.

Proposed Legislation Could Silence Mesothelioma Victims

A proposed bill supported by asbestos companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is encountering push-back from a number of mesothelioma advocates. If passed, the bill – the Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency (FACT) Act – would likely make it much more difficult for asbestos victims and their loved ones to pursue mesothelioma claims and could limit their ability to recover timely compensation.

Here are a few key points about the bill:

The FACT Act (HR 526) was introduced in January by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas. This is the third time lawmakers have attempted to pass similar legislation in Congress.
Opponents of the bill argue that it would significantly compromise mesothelioma victims’ ability to secure compensation. Primarly, the act would require quarterly reports (which require additional resources) from approximately 60 trust funds set up by bankruptcy courts to compensate mesothelioma victims.
If passed, the bill would also require trust funds to publicly disclose personal information about victims who filed claims. Many opponents believe this to be a tactic to prevent mesothelioma victims from pursuing claims.
For an overwhelming amount of opponents, the FACT Act creates burdens and obstacles that would ultimately prevent mesothelioma victims and their families from recovering full and fair compensation in a timely fashion. By allowing asbestos companies to request information from trusts, they enable them to constrict limited resources that should be used to further the process of paying claims.

A number of victims, families, and organizations have been outspoken in their opposition of the FACT Act and are encouraging other victims and supporters to educate themselves about the transparent attempts of big business to silence those they’ve harmed. If you have questions about mesothelioma claims and your rights, our attorneys are available to help. Contact Nemeroff Law Firm today.