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Lung cancer is a type of malignant tumor that originates in the lungs. This disease leads to the deaths of approximately 160,000 people each year in the U.S.
Although smoking is recognized as the most common cause of lung cancer, working with or being near certain hazardous materials can be just as lethal. Asbestos is one such carcinogen and it can cause asbestos lung cancer. In the U.S., this type of cancer claims nearly 5,000 lives annually.
What Is Asbestos?
Occurring naturally in the environment in soil and rocks, asbestos is a group of minerals that are resistant to heat and fire and do not conduct electricity. Because of this, manufacturers began incorporating asbestos on a massive scale into products in the late 1800s.
Asbestos products were used to insulate everything from factories to schools, homes, and ships. You could also find asbestos in automobile parts, roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, and cement.
Government Recognizes Link Between Asbestos and Lung Cancer
The U.S. government agencies recognized the direct link between asbestos and lung cancer years ago, and banned many uses of asbestos. However, you can still find asbestos in automotive products and in materials used in home building and construction, as well as in older buildings and water pipes.
In fact, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has estimated that more than a million employees in construction and other trades continue to face significant asbestos exposure on the job.
How You Can Be Exposed
People are exposed to asbestos primarily by inhaling fibers in an environment where asbestos has been disturbed, such as when mining and processing asbestos, making products that contain it, or installing asbestos insulation. Asbestos fibers can also be disturbed when older buildings are demolished or renovated.
In addition, asbestos fibers can be swallowed, such as in drinking water that has flowed through asbestos cement pipes. Family members of workers who are exposed to asbestos through their jobs can experience secondhand exposure from that person’s clothing or skin.
Lung Cancer Advances Without Warning
One reason lung cancer is so deadly is that it is hard to detect in its early stages. There may be no symptoms at first.
Unfortunately, by the time someone has developed symptoms, the cancer may have reached advanced stages. In fact, most cases of lung cancer in asbestos workers can be traced back 15 years or more to a person’s initial exposure.
Possible Signs of Lung Cancer
There are typically physical symptoms apparent if you have lung cancer. These include: Eventually, the typical physical symptoms of asbestos lung cancer may appear and include:
- New, chronic cough
- Changes in a chronic cough
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Unexpected and unusual weight loss
- Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis
Have you been experiencing any of these known symptoms of lung cancer and believe asbestos is to blame? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.
Choosing the Right Attorney to Represent You
Are you seeking an attorney to assist you in recovering damages for health complications related to asbestos poisoning? If so, we encourage you to consider these critical questions in making your decision: What experience can this firm offer me? What is this firm’s philosophy toward working with its clients?
At Weitz & Luxenberg, we believe that our attorneys can offer you the expertise you deserve. We are one of the largest personal injury and mass tort plaintiffs’ firms in the country, and we have a proven record of achieving superior results. Our attorneys have represented tens of thousands of individuals and we believe our firm stands out with its continued success.
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.