For Family Members of Asbestos Workers, Secondhand Exposure to Mineral Can Cause Serious Illness
For more than 20 years, our highly skilled asbestos lawyers have helped countless families devastated by a loved one’s diagnosis with an asbestos disease. Weitz & Luxenberg has fought for justice for many family members who have developed serious illnesses such as mesothelioma cancer, asbestos-related lung cancer or asbestosis caused by secondhand exposure to the dangerous mineral.
When gathering information from our asbestos clients, many families share many similar questions and stories about the asbestos products used on the job, their work history and their co-workers.
But for the countless families we represent that have been affected by a loved one’s diagnosis with an asbestos disease caused by secondhand exposure, their stories come from the tragic circumstances of their loved one's exposure to asbestos, which took place every day when the family breadwinner walked in the front door from work.
“How did this happen to my Mom? She was a housewife. I couldn’t believe it when the doctor said it was caused by asbestos that was on Dad’s work clothes or by using Dad’s tools when they did home repair stuff together.
“When they first started to tell us that asbestos could hurt us, my buddies and I used to talk about whether one of us would end up sick after breathing in all that junk for so many years. But they never told us that asbestos dust on our work shirts and pants would someday make our wives sick.”
Secondhand Exposure Risks
For the wives or family members who contracted an asbestos-related disease, their exposure to the carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) was caused by engaging in normal, everyday activities. Whether they were doing the laundry that included shaking out and washing work clothes covered in asbestos dust, cleaning the dusty seats, floor mats and dashboard in the family car, or using tools used on the job for home repairs, they were exposed to asbestos dust.
Latency Period for Asbestos Disease
When asbestos is inhaled, it does not leave the lungs by exhaling, coughing, sneezing or blowing one’s nose. The sharp, jagged edges on microscopic asbestos fibers attach to lung tissue, where they remain.
After many decades, those asbestos fibers can cause lung tissue to scar (resulting in chronic illnesses like pleural plaques), or can cause the lungs to produce abnormal cells (causing lung cancer tumors or mesothelioma).
This long latency period (the time between exposure and when symptoms of disease are first diagnosed) can be 30-40 years long, meaning that someone exposed in their 20s or 30s may not become ill until they are in their 60s or 70s.
Our Asbestos Lawyers Can Help
For over 20 years, our asbestos lawyers have worked diligently to help families affected by asbestos-related diseases to seek justice for their loved one’s asbestos illness, pain and suffering, and to help pay medical bills and other expenses.
Complete the form on this page for a free review of your potential lawsuit, and request a copy of our free asbestos sourcebook. A Weitz & Luxenberg representative will contact you as soon as possible.