Are You Seriously Ill Due to Asbestos Exposure?
Although most older Americans are familiar with the substance known as “asbestos,” many younger people have heard far less about it. That’s because asbestos was first widely used back between the years of 1930 and 1950 when people were building homes and other structures.
However, asbestos continued to be well known during the 1970s because it was still being mixed in then with some textured paints and patching compounds “used on wall and ceiling joints.” Fortunately for everyone, all new uses of asbestos were banned in 1977. Yet that still meant numerous products and structures still contained the mineral.
Furthermore, the 20th century was the time when our country outfitted numerous military ships and submarines with asbestos insulation due to its strong fire retardant properties. Although the mere presence of asbestos isn’t always a risk, once this fiber becomes damaged or exposed in any major way, people can develop serious health problems, including mesothelioma.
The following definitions should help clarify additional information about where asbestos is still most likely to be found in your daily environment.
Definition of Asbestos Provided by the Merriam Webster Dictionary Website
Asbestos is a “soft gray mineral that does not burn, that was used especially as a building material in the past . . . [it] can cause serious diseases of the lungs when people breathe its dust.” One of the most serious conditions or illnesses caused by asbestos exposure is mesothelioma.
Mayo Clinic Definition of Mesothelioma
“Malignant mesothelioma is a type of [lung] cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).” This type of cancer is both highly aggressive and deadly. The U. S. Navy began warning its service members about the dangers tied to this mineral back in the late 1930s.
In general, it’s nearly always necessary to make a microscopic examination of material thought to contain asbestos to confirm its presence. Long before its health risks were known, asbestos was added to many products to “strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.”
Here’s a brief look at some of the places you might still find asbestos in your home or elsewhere.
Common Locations for Asbestos
Asbestos may still be present today in:
- Vinyl floor tiles – and “in the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives;”
- The insulation used in homes built between 1930 and 1950;
- The walls and floors surrounding wood-burning stoves;
- Some “store-bought” ashes and embers made for fireplaces;
- Much older stovetop pads;
- Many other older products, including oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets.
If you live in a much older home that hasn’t been recently rebuilt – or work in any structure built many decades ago — it’s often wise to have a fully licensed safety inspector come out and evaluate the asbestos still in use on the premises.
More Information About the Disease of Mesothelioma (Caused by Asbestos Exposure)
Although there are a number of different types of treatment for this disease, the Mayo Clinic says that a cure cannot be provided to many people.
Should doctors decide to test you for mesothelioma, they’ll first try to learn which organs the disease may be covering. While it’s most commonly found around a person’s lungs, in some rare cases, mesothelioma may be located in tissues surrounding an individual’s heart, abdomen or testicles.
Symptoms for this often painful disease may varyaccording to its primary location. An afflicted person may experience:
- Unexplained and unintended weight loss (check with your doctor since there are many reasons why people lose weight – don’t just assume you know the correct answer);
- Painful coughing, shortness of breath and/or pain right under the rib cage;
- Lumps of skin in abdominal tissue;
- Swelling in the abdomen;
- Unusual lumps under your chest skin.
If you have any strong reason to believe that your physical pain is due to asbestos exposure, contact your doctor right away — and then get in touch with your Texas personal injury attorney.
Carlos Galliani is an experienced Texas personal injury attorney who fights hard to protect the rights of every client. He’s fully prepared to handle your negligent asbestos exposure lawsuit. Please call to discuss your case with Mr. Galliani at (214) 301-3400.