“Asbestos” is actually a blanket term used to refer to six unique minerals belonging to the amphibole and serpentine families. All forms of asbestos are known carcinogens, meaning that they can all lead to the development of cancer. The six types of asbestos are:
Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma were occupationally exposed to asbestos, which means that they came into contact with the mineral on the job. Still, secondary exposure to asbestos is also known to lead to mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases: a number of people with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos when workers inadvertently carried the mineral home on their clothing, on their bodies, or in their hair. Because symptoms of mesothelioma may not present for up to 50 years after a person is exposed to asbestos, many patients are not even aware of how or when they were exposed.
Most people come into contact with asbestos through occupational exposure. That is, they are exposed to asbestos on the job. Certain industries, such as asbestos mining, processing, and manufacturing carry an obviously high risk of asbestos exposure, but there are many other job sites and types that pose a risk of exposure to this toxic and deadly mineral.
Tragically, many of our veterans are or were exposed to asbestos at work. This is especially true for Navy veterans, as many parts of our Navy’s ships contain asbestos that may break loose and become inhaled or ingested.
Asbestos has been heavily used in a wide range of applications throughout history because it is cheap, plentiful, durable, and heat-resistant. Though the link between asbestos and certain illnesses has long been acknowledged (historians have found references to asbestos diseases as far back as Ancient Egypt) it wasn’t until the 1970s that the health threats posed by asbestos exposure were fully accepted by the general public. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned most asbestos products in 1989, but the ruling was overturned after only two years. Now, products made in the United States can contain asbestos only if the mineral accounts for less than 1 percent of the product’s entire makeup.
There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. If you find or suspect that asbestos is present in your home, do not touch it, as handling asbestos can expose you to serious health threats. Additionally, the federal government as well as state and local governments have all established strict laws regulating how we may handle and dispose of asbestos or products containing asbestos. The best thing to do if you believe there is asbestos in your home is to contact an expert in the detection, removal, and abatement of asbestos.
In some cases, an asbestos contractor may be able to neutralize the threat of asbestos in a building rather than removing the asbestos. This can be done by containing or encapsulating the asbestos so that fibers cannot become airborne.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a disease linked to asbestos exposure, you have the right to pursue significant compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages in an asbestos lawsuit. Asbestos disease attorneys at Arentz Law Group, P.C. are ready to stand by you and your family. Contact us today to learn more about your rights in a free and confidential legal consultation.
Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a very rare form of cancer for which there is no cure. Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally all over the world, and has been prized throughout history for its extreme durability and ability to withstand very high temperatures. Through the years, asbestos has been heavily used in construction materials, plumbing materials, insulation, automobile parts, and a range of additional applications.