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Asbestosis is a degenerative, but nonmalignant, chronic lung disease caused by asbestos. It can lead to lung cancer and lung or heart failure. Unfortunately, there is no cure.
Asbestosis is caused by the formation of scar tissue in the lungs. The scar tissue develops after a person has been exposed to asbestos for many years, sometimes 20 years or more, and has inhaled its fibers.
The severity of the disease generally depends on how long someone was exposed to asbestos and the amount of asbestos that person breathed in.
Most people who have been diagnosed with asbestosis acquired it in the workplace before the 1970s, when the government began restricting the use of asbestos. Prior to that time, manufacturers used it widely as an insulator and fire retardant, particularly in asbestos mining and milling industries, construction and fireproofing. You could also find asbestos in paper products, plastics, cement, floor and ceiling tiles, crayons and toasters.
Asbestos Is a Naturally Occurring Carcinogen
You can find asbestos in our natural environment as part of the soil and rocks. Its fibers are heat and fire resistant, as well as resistant to corrosion. Undisturbed, asbestos poses few direct risks.
When disturbed, however, such as during excavation, building and home demolition and construction, and product manufacture, asbestos is lethal. Today, asbestos is a well-recognized health hazard and known human carcinogen.
Unfortunately, asbestos is still in use today. You can find it in products used in home and building construction as well as the automotive industry.
How Does Asbestos Cause Asbestosis?
Asbestos consists of tiny fibers. If disturbed, they are released into the air and float like dust particles. When you breathe in these fibers, some settle deep in your lungs, where they may remain for your lifetime.
The more particles you breathe in, the greater the chances your lungs will react by forming scar tissue. Over time and continued exposure, scar tissue builds up.
This scar tissue interferes with breathing. The lung tissues and the lining of the chest wall also thicken and harden. Both disrupt your body’s ability to take in oxygen, causing shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Other Common Symptoms of Asbestosis
There are other symptoms that indicate you may be ill with asbestosis. These include:
- Chronic cough that produces mucus
- Dry, hacking cough
- Damaged respiratory function
- Tightness in the chest
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
Are you experiencing symptoms associated with asbestosis? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.
Choosing Just the Right Attorney to Fight on Your Behalf
If you’re considering hiring an attorney, your choices may feel overwhelming. To ensure you find someone who will best serve your needs, be sure to ask these critical questions: What is this firm’s prior experience? What is this firm’s philosophy when working with clients?
At Weitz & Luxenberg, we have a proven record of providing our clients with superior results. Our attorneys have represented tens of thousands of individuals and won billions of dollars in damages. As one of the largest personal injury and mass tort plaintiffs’ firms in the country, Weitz & Luxenberg can assure you that we have the expertise and knowledge to provide you with the best outcome possible.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $17 billion for our clients.
We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call us at 800-476-6070. If you prefer, you can complete our form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.