History of Asbestos, cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma
Those in the US and Canada who have developed lung cancer or mesothelioma as the result of a history of exposure to asbestos, may contact the lawyers of Weitz & Luxenberg by completing the form on this page.
Those affected by harmful asbestos should know the history of how it was used and why such a dangerous material was manufactured.
Asbestos is a mineral composed of silicon, oxygen, hydrogen and other metal ions. Asbestos fibers insulate very well because they are strong, flexible and nonflammable.
The three most common varieties of asbestos fibers are chrysolite, amosite and crocidolite. Asbestos is a tiny fiber, less than half the diameter of a strand of hair.
In order to adhere to surfaces, it needs to be attached to something. When asbestos fibers are mixed with other materials, these products are called "asbestos containing materials," or ACM.
Many industrial products are made of ACM, including sealants, cement pipe, wall insulation, pipe insulation and ceiling panels. ACM has been used frequently by the automotive industry and the shipping industry. NASA uses ACM to insulate the Space Shuttle.
One major drawback of using ACM is that the dust created from its manufacture, installation, and eventual deterioration releases asbestos in the air. Because asbestos is such a small, powdery component, it is easily airborne and also easily inhaled. And, unfortunately, when inhaled, asbestos can cause serious health problems.
Commercial production of asbestos insulation began in 1879, and as early as 1899 the first case of asbestos-related disease was described as "curious bodies" in the lungs. In 1935 the first cases of asbestosis and lung cancer attributable to asbestos exposure were diagnosed in the United States.
Even though the Federal Government placed a moratorium on the production of most asbestos products in the early 1970’s, installation of these products continued through the late 1970’s and even into the early 1980’s.
Most health information on asbestos has been derived from studies of workers who have been exposed to asbestos in the course of their jobs.
Asbestos fiber concentrations for these workers were many times higher than those encountered by the general public. Although the risks associated with low level non-occupational exposure are not as well established, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibers.
Because asbestos fibers are extremely aerodynamic, virtually everyone is exposed to asbestos. Therefore, measures to minimize exposure may reduce the risk of adverse health effects.
Not only people who worked under conditions where they were exposed to asbestos are at risk. Family members may also be at risk since asbestos fibers easily become airborne and, therefore, can come into the home on the clothing of the worker. It is important for family members of asbestos workers to also be tested for exposure.
Weitz & Luxenberg is now accepting clients in the US and Canada who have been injured by asbestos. If you have been exposed to asbestos and have developed an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, lung cancer or another asbestos-linked cancer, please complete the form on this page for a free legal review. A representative of our firm will be in touch shortly.