Inhaling Asbestos Dusts Can Cause Serious Illnesses Many Decades after Exposure to the Dangerous Mineral
Asbestos removal and remediation projects require many federal and state regulations to be followed to ensure that asbestos is not released into the environment. If asbestos dusts contaminate the air, those who are exposed face a lifetime of risk to develop serious asbestos-related illnesses.
If your family is facing a loved one’s diagnosis with a serious asbestos disease such as mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis, please contact us for more information about your legal options.
Throughout most of the 20th century, virtually every building, including private homes and apartment complexes, schools, churches, hospitals, office buildings and factories were built using hundreds of asbestos-containing products.
Asbestos was also commonly used at coal and coke production facilities, energy generation plants, as well in the maintenance of military and commercial ships.
As these buildings and ships age and require renovation, abatement or demolition, many procedures must be followed in order to protect not only the property owners, but those who live and work in the area from accidental exposure to asbestos, a dangerous carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).
If asbestos materials become airborne, those that breathe in asbestos-contaminated dusts are then at risk to develop serious asbestos diseases 30-40 or more years after they first inhaled the contaminated dusts.
Asbestos Latency Periods
The decades-long periods between exposure to asbestos and when symptoms of an asbestos disease are first diagnosed are known as asbestos latency periods.
One of the reasons for this long period of time for an asbestos disease to develop is caused by the microscopic structure of asbestos. When asbestos-contaminated dusts are inhaled, the asbestos is not expelled by coughing, sneezing or blowing one’s nose.
Instead, the jagged edges on the tiny asbestos fibers cause them to attach to lung tissue. Over this long period of time, the asbestos will cause healthy lung tissue to scar.
Chronic Asbestos-Related Illnesses
Eventually, the scarring can become so extensive that it will cause breathing problems. Asbestos disease patients typically begin to experience feelings of shortness of breath (even when they are not active or exercising), develop a chronic cough, and find themselves needing to prop themselves on several pillows to be able to sleep.
These symptoms can mean that any number of chronic breathing problems has developed, such as asbestosis, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) or pleural plaques disease.
In more serious cases, the damage caused by inhaling asbestos dusts will cause the lungs to begin to produce abnormal cells. When these cells begin to reproduce and cluster, they eventually form mesothelioma or other lung cancer tumors.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we may be able to help you to seek justice for your illness and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Please complete the form on this page for a free and confidential review of your potential asbestos lawsuit or request a free copy of our asbestos sourcebook. A Weitz & Luxenberg representative will contact you as soon as possible.