The link between asbestos and mesothelioma
Asbestos refers to a group of silicate compounds occurring in nature as long threads that can be broken down into smaller but still very strong fibers. The name of these compounds is derived from a Greek word meaning inextinguishable because they are resistant to fire, heat, and chemicals as well as non-conductive. These unique properties made asbestos a useful material in many industries including the shipbuilding, automobile, and construction industries.
If you have been exposed to asbestos either directly or through a family member, please contact the Louisiana asbestos attorneys at Landry & Swarr, LLC.
History of Asbestos in the US
In America, they were first mined and used commercially during the late 1800s, gaining popularity until the 1970s. During the late 1970s, use of asbestos was explicitly banned for some uses and voluntarily given up by others, including manufacturers of electric hair dryers.
In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos; previously established uses, however, were still allowed. This was intended as a way to slow and then eliminate the use of asbestos in the United States, however it was overturned in 1990. Also in 1989, regulations regarding damaged or exposed asbestos in schools are also established.
Despite these attempts at regulation, asbestos are still used in many products today including:
- brake pads and shoes,
- roofing tar and roof shingles,
- clutch plates,
- fire blankets,
- the fireproof clothing worn by firefighters, and
- thermal pipe insulation.
Asbestos and Cancer
Asbestos is most dangerous to those who work with it constantly because they are more likely to inhale the asbestos and to do so in great quantities. When asbestos is disturbed, as may occur when it is being fitted for a particular use such as insulating a section of piping or wall, the smaller fibers break off and become airborne. In this form, the people around them can easily inhale the asbestos fibers.
Once inhaled, the asbestos lodges within the lungs and causes irritation, scarring, and possible abnormal cell growth, resulting in tumors and cancer as well as other mesothelioma symptoms. Asbestos cancer is also referred to as mesothelioma, because it affects the lining of the body’s organs which is called mesothelium.
For this reason, the people most likely to seek mesothelioma treatment as a result of developing asbestos cancer are those who worked for a significant amount of time in the following trades:
- Asbestos mining and milling
- Construction/building, particularly working with insulation
- Asbestos removal workers
- Automobile workers
- Asbestos textiles manufacturing
Looking for legal advice? We can help.
If you or a love done are confronted with the potential diagnoses of a deadly disease such as mesothelioma – don’t take chances with a law firm that doesn’t understand the disease and its link to asbestos exposure.
The Louisiana mesothelioma attorneys at Landry & Swarr have years of experience handling difficult legal matters such as asbestos exposure and are familiar with the challenges each case presents. Please contact us today for a free consultation.