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Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment. You can find it in air, water, and soil. To some degree, everyone is exposed. Untouched and undisturbed, asbestos poses little long-term risk. Disturbed, however, asbestos exposure can be lethal. In fact, asbestos is a known human carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent. Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma (cancer), lung cancer, asbestosis and other serious diseases.
Wide Use of Asbestos
Those living in the late 1800s and early 1900s had no idea how dangerous this substance was. But, because asbestos is resistant to heat, fire and some chemicals, manufacturers used it in many products. This included everything from cement and plastics to insulation, roofing materials, steam and hot-water pipes, brake pads, ceiling and floor tiles, paints, crayons, garden products, and hair dryers.
Although the government has instituted strict safety protocols for using asbestos, you can still find it in products today. Asbestos is still used in building and home construction, insulation, automotive brake pads, gaskets, and clutches.
Asbestos Exposure Damages Your Lungs
For decades, workers subjected to asbestos dust and fibers suffered irreversible lung damage, including pleural mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, as well as other diseases, such as peritoneal mesothelioma.
Finally, in the 1970s, because of mounting public health concerns, U.S. government agencies banned many uses of asbestos. They also instituted strict safety protocols for working with asbestos. Some manufacturers also voluntarily discontinued its use.
Long-Term Complications Linked to Asbestos
Whenever and wherever asbestos fibers are released into the air, you are at risk. When you breathe in asbestos, the fibers become trapped in your lungs and remain there. Over time, scarring may occur, which can lead to a variety of significant health problems.
Typically, serious complications take years to appear, often a decade or more. Some individuals, however, do experience immediate discomfort after short-term, severe exposure.
Diseases Commonly Caused by Asbestos
Mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the membranes that line the chest, heart, abdomen and other organs; Lung cancer; Asbestosis, an inflammation in the lungs causing coughing, difficulty breathing and lung damage.
If you are suffering from the complications of asbestos exposure through your home or workplace, you may be entitled to compensation.
Who Is Most at Risk from Asbestos Exposure?
Those working in certain industries are most at risk for long-term damage. These include workers in the shipbuilding industry (especially Navy vets), construction and building, demolition, mining and milling, textile manufacture and the automotive trades.
Individuals involved in the rescue and cleanup at the World Trade Center in New York City, following the attacks on September 11, 2001, are also at risk of developing asbestos-related complications. These individuals include firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and construction workers. Residents living close to the towers and those who attended schools nearby may also be at risk.
Deciding on the Best Attorney to Represent You
Selecting an asbestos lawyer can feel overwhelming. You can find hundreds of firms offering their services. So how do you determine who will best represent you?
Before making a decision, we suggest that you ask two critical questions. Which firm offers the solid experience that will best work for me? Which firm’s philosophy toward working with clients will serve my needs most effectively?
As one of the largest personal injury and mass tort plaintiffs’ firms in the country, Weitz & Luxenberg stands out as a law firm that offers superior results over the long term. We have represented tens of thousands of individuals and believe that our asbestos attorneys can provide you with the expertise you deserve.
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 companies 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 1-800-476-6070. If you prefer, you can complete our web form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.