Where Does Exposure to Asbestos Occur?
There was a day when asbestos was present in every home and business in the United States. Insulation and heat-protectant materials were the biggest culprits. Following World War 2, the construction industry was in full-speed mode, and asbestos was used in nearly every type of household and industrial products, including glues, shingles, drywall, cement, wiring, adhesives, and ceiling tiles.
Many of these products are still in older structures today, and they are typically harmless if they are left alone and not disturbed. Asbestos mostly affected workers, including electricians, firefighters, demolition workers, contractors, and plumbers. In addition, many of their family members were also exposed through secondary exposure when clothing and other items that were laden with the toxic substance were brought into their homes. Learn more about asbestos materials.
Causes of Asbestos Exposure
Certain factors can increase the risk of developing mesothelioma. Some of these causes include:
- Living near an asbestos mine.
- Being employed at an asbestos processing plant or mine. See job sites.
- Working on military ships or other facilities that were built with asbestos-containing products. See asbestos in the military.
- Being employed in a high-risk industry environment, such as the automotive or construction industries.
- Disturbing asbestos-containing products when renovating homes or other type of buildings.
Long-term asbestos exposure can lead to Mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer. Unfortunately, symptoms usually do not appear until the cancer has received a dangerously advanced stage. Additionally, the symptoms of Mesothelioma can easily be confused with other medical conditions and ailment – further delaying a proper diagnosis.
Symptoms of mesothelioma are varied and may include:
- Pain in the lower back, back, and side of the chest
- Dyspnea, or trouble breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Harsh coughing that won’t go away
- Coughing blood
- Facial swelling
- Unexplained, sudden weight loss
- Chronic exhaustion
Types of Asbestos Exposure Symptoms
The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, face and arm swelling, trouble swallowing, and chest or back pain, among other ailments. Since these symptoms are also indicative of other conditions, diagnosis of the disease may not be made until the patient is already quite ill.
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms may include pain in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation and swelling in the abdomen.
Get Help Today
If you or your loved one has reason to suspect chronic exposure to asbestos, it is important to be proactive in obtaining medical treatment and cancer screenings. Individuals who are diagnosed early have a much better chance of successfully treating and halting the disease. You should also be aware of your legal rights if you are diagnosed. Our team of mesothelioma lawyers are here to help you answer your questions.