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Asbestos diseases is a blanket term for the many illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. The most well-known asbestos disease is mesothelioma. Other asbestos diseases include lung cancer, asbestosis, pulmonary fibrosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, lung nodules, and esophageal cancer.
Asbestos diseases are directly related to the negligence of corporations that were making money by marketing asbestos products used globally in various industries including manufacturing, shipping, construction, automotive, shipbuilding, HVAC, and countless others. Asbestos workers were just doing their job. They had no idea they were mining a toxic substance that posed a mortal threat to themselves, their families and everyone who came into contact with it once it left the mine.
These diseases, such as mesothelioma, can be difficult to detect. Many of them require expensive treatments that pose undue burden on a family already coping with the illness of a loved one.
Most Common Asbestos Diseases
The two main groups of diseases caused by asbestos are:
- Mesothelioma – cancer of the mesothelium, the protective sac that lines the internal organs;
- Lung cancer;
Non-cancerous asbestos diseases
- Lung nodules;
- Pleural effusion;
- Pulmonary fibrosis;
- Pleural plaques;
- Pleural thickening.
Since asbestos enters the body mostly by inhalation, the lungs and the tissues around the lungs is the area of the body where most asbestos-related diseases originate.
Asbestos can also be ingested by drinking contaminated water, or eating food in an environment where asbestos is in the air. The possibilities for non-respiratory cancers include stomach cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, or of any other part of the body involved in digestion.
Non-Cancerous Asbestos Diseases
No less important than mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers are the noncancerous diseases, which prevent hard-working people from continuing to provide for themselves and their families, due to severe difficulty breathing.
Asbestosis, is the scarring of lung tissue caused by asbestos exposure. This is pulmonary fibrosis brought on by long term asbestos exposure. While pulmonary fibrosis has possible causes other than asbestos (cigarettes, autoimmune diseases, radiation therapy), asbestosis is caused only by asbestos.
Pulmonary fibrosis, the potentially fatal scarring of the lungs, which makes it harder for them to expand and contract. Without room to expand, the lungs can only take in small amounts of oxygen, and the person suffering from this disease is unable to work regularly or go about their daily routines.
Pleural plaques, pleural effusion, lung nodules, and pleural thickening, all of which are possible indicators of asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Pleural plaques are spots of fibrous tissue (hard, like scar tissue) on the pleura.
Pleural effusion is the buildup of fluid between the layers of the pleura.
Lung nodules are small masses of tissue in the lung, and possible indicators of lung cancer.
Pleural thickening, or asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening (DPT), is the thickening of the pleura. It often comes after pleural effusion.
In the following section, you will learn about all these asbestos-related diseases, and what the medical and legal communities can do for people who suffer from them.
Whichever asbestos disease (or diseases) you suffer from, you are not alone, you are not at fault, and you are not without hope. There is a vast network of men and women who have been unfairly exposed to asbestos while making a living. You deserve much better than what the asbestos companies have given you.
Legal Advocates for Those with Asbestos Diseases
Weitz & Luxenberg has been a leader in mesothelioma and asbestos related litigation since 1986.
Our mesothelioma lawyers have the qualifications and the practice experience necessary to get justice for those who have suffered from an asbestos-related disease. For a free legal review of your case, please fill out the form on this page. All communication will be strictly confidential, and there is no fee unless we secure a monetary verdict or settlement for you.
For a listing of our numerous mesothelioma verdicts and settlements, including the groundbreaking $75 million verdict secured on behalf of several former employees of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, please see our Verdicts and Settlements page.
For a free consultation, please complete a contact form on this page, and a representative of our law firm will contact you as soon as possible.
For questions about compensation for your asbestos disease anywhere in the U.S., please call 1-800-476-6070.