Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer most often associated with exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a heat-resistant, fibrous material used in the construction of homes and other industrial applications. Since being positively linked to mesothelioma, its use has been greatly restricted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Have I Been Exposed?
In the home, asbestos is often used for roofing shingles and insulation – either in the walls or on pipes. While their mere presence isn’t generally life threatening, working with materials that contain asbestos can release microscopic fibers into the air. If you are a tradesman and involved in demolition and renovation work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations designed to help keep workers like yourself safe around asbestos.
Employer Fined $1.2 Million for Exposing Employees
Earlier this year, OSHA fined AMD Industries Inc. $1.2 million for having five untrained and unprotected employees remove materials containing asbestos from boilers, heating units and plumbing in their factory. The company did not warn their employees of the dangers associated with the task, and was part of OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program. This program focuses on employers who willfully or repetitively violate OSHA regulations.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
One of the difficulties in dealing with asbestos cases is that signs of exposure typically don’t show up until at least 15 years later. Some studies suggest it can take 50 years to develop mesothelioma after asbestos exposure. Also, symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to many other, less serious conditions. Symptoms include:
Shortness of breath, chest pain and pleural effusions are the most common symptoms in patients with mesothelioma, although a person with pleural effusions has usually progressed to more advanced stages of the disease. If you are experiencing symptoms like these, especially if you know you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and medical and work histories to determine if you have mesothelioma. Although it is a type of lung cancer, non-smokers can get mesothelioma if they have inhaled asbestos particles.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or have been recently been exposed to asbestos by your employer, contact our firm today. Our attorneys have experience with cases involving asbestos and mesothelioma and offer a free consultation to help you get the compensation you deserve.