Asbestosis is life-threatening because it can lead to asbestosis lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is incurable. If you have been exposed to asbestos and think you have an asbestos claim, a number of states accept asbestos lawsuits filed by people who reasonably expect to develop asbestos-related illnesses. People with occupational asbestos-related diseases also may qualify for financial help, including medical payments, under state worker's compensation laws. Whichever route you take, sifting through complex asbestosis legal issues requires an experienced asbestosis attorney. Also, a qualified asbestos lawyer typically goes after 20-30 companies and manufacturers per claim to help you and your family obtain asbestosis compensation.
Asbestosis develops over time as asbestos fibers begin to cause inflammation in the lungs, which leads to the development of scar tissue (fibrosis). The most common symptom of asbestosis is shortness of breath, or a feeling of breathlessness. Asbestosis disease causes scarring of the parenchymal tissue of the lung; it decreases the lung's ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood through a reduction in total lung capacity. Asbestosis can lead to disability and death.
What is Asbestosis?
Additional symptoms of asbestosis can include:
- Chronic cough
- Decreased tolerance for physical activity
- Finger clubbing: finger tip enlargement; round or club-like shaping of the fingers
- Chronic chest pain (associated with fluid buildup)
- Congestive heart failure
- Cancerous: Some diseases are malignant (or cancerous), such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
- Non-Cancerous: Others are benign (non-malignant or non-cancerous), such as asbestosis, pleural plaques, diffuse pleural fibrosis, and benign pleural effusions.
The association between lung cancer and asbestosis is not yet determined. Some experts believe there is a threshold for lung cancer based on the assumption of the carcinogenic process being an extension of the chronic inflammatory processes producing fibrosis. Evidence has shown that heavy doses of white asbestos are required to produce clinically significant lung fibrosis but the potential damage for blue and brown asbestos is still uncertain, but fibrosis has been observed in blue and brown asbestos at much lower exposures. These observations suggest that if a threshold for lung cancer does exist for blue and brown asbestos it must be at a very low level.
Asbestosis and Lung Cancer
Millions of Americans have been exposed to asbestos fibers, mainly from the work environment but cases of asbestosis and mesothelioma have been found in people without occupational asbestos exposure. Workers carried asbestos fibers home on their clothes, exposing family members, and people who lived near asbestos mines have developed asbestosis and mesothelioma. There are approximately 3,000 people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases every year. Those most at risk include workers in construction, shipyards and other building trades; vehicle mechanics and electricians.
Who is at Risk for Asbestos-Related Disease?
Typically, people who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness after their first exposure. According to the National Cancer Institute, it can take from 10 to 40 years or more for symptoms of asbestos disease to appear. Due to this length of time, asbestosis is often not diagnosed.
People who become ill from asbestos are usually exposed to it on a regular basis, but others, such as those who worked in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup at the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) are also at risk. Residents and schoolchildren nearby could also suffer respiratory problems, which can lead to asbestosis. One study found that nearly 70 percent of WTC rescue and recovery workers suffered new or worsened respiratory symptoms while working at the WTC site.
An asbestosis lawsuit can help you recover the cost of medical bills, lost wages and other costs. Some lawsuits also award punitive damages, which punishes the defendant. If you have an asbestosis claim, you can also include your family or loved ones. Those targeted in asbestos lawsuits include:
- Asbestos manufacturers
- Asbestos installers
- Employers: including contractors whose workers used asbestos products; the general contractor (the company or person in charge of construction and safety at a building site); and/or the owner(s) of the sites where exposure occurred.
- Leasing agents
Asbestosis Lung Disease Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered damages in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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Last updated on Jun-5-10