Nationwide Asbestosis Attorney
Nationwide Asbestosis Lawyer
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral product that is heat and corrosion resistant. In the past, asbestos was used in insulation, soundproofing materials, roofing and siding materials, cement, some floor tiles, and fire-retardant materials. Asbestos is considered safe as long as the fibers are contained. However, once these items start to deteriorate, there is a danger that asbestos fibers are released into the air.
Workers who worked with asbestos prior to the late 1970’s are especially at risk. This includes:
Workers in the construction of buildings
Those removing asbestos insulation
Family members of these workers were also at risk because of the fibers brought home on the workers clothing. Asbestosis can also occur in communities located near an asbestos mine or factory that creates products containing asbestos.
Asbestosis is a disease of the lung caused by breathing in asbestos fibers. These fibers can cause scarring in your lungs. When your lung is scarred, the tissue does not expand or contract properly, which makes it difficult to breathe. The severity of the disease is dependent upon the amount of asbestos that was inhaled, as well as the length of time a person was exposed.
It can take from ten to 40 years for the symptoms of asbestosis to appear. The most common symptoms include:
Shortness of breath. This is the primary symptom. At the start, the shortness of breath occurs only with exertion; later, it occurs even while resting.
Persistent, dry cough. Often, this cough makes it difficult to sleep and it may also come with pain in the chest.
Tightness in the chest. Many times, those with asbestosis believe they have heart disease because of the tightness in the chest and chest pain.
Loss of appetite. This results because of the other symptoms of asbestosis. For example, a difficulty in swallowing could make eating uncomfortable.
Finger deformity. In advanced stages, a thickening of the fingers and an increased curvature of the nails. This is known as “clubbing” of the fingers.
If you suspect you may have asbestosis, you’ll want to contact a doctor who is familiar with the disease as asbestosis has many symptoms that are similar to other conditions. The physician will take your medical and work history and order a chest x-ray. A CT-scan or MRI may be necessary based upon the results of the x-ray. An open lung biopsy is the most accurate method of making an asbestosis diagnosis.
There is no cure for asbestosis. Treatment focuses on treating the symptoms and preventing the advancement of the disease. Prescription inhalers, humidifiers, supplemental oxygen, and surgery to replace the damaged lung in severe instances. It is important to know that smoking and asbestosis is a deadly combination, therefore it is imperative to quit smoking if you are diagnosed with asbestosis.
The good news is that today’s workers are less likely to develop asbestosis because of government regulations