Exposure to asbestos can lead to severe, life-threatening diseases including asbestosis and mesothelioma.
UPDATE:$27.3 Million in Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit
June 10, 2013 — Second-Hand Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawsuit Awarded nearly $30 million by a jury in Oakland, California. Click here to read more.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral derived from the Greek word inextinguishable. It was formerly used for making incombustible or fireproof articles. Asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century due to its resistance to heat, electricity and chemical damage, sound absorption and tensile strength.
Common products containing asbestos are brake pads, pipe coverings, boilers, furnaces, roofing material, and building insulation.
Occupational risks of asbestos exposure are shipbuilding, mechanics, building, demolition, and utility workers.
All forms of asbestos are hazardous, and all can cause cancer. Between 1940 and 1979, over 27 million people were exposed to asbestos. Since the 1980s, many countries have banned asbestos. Asbestos was banned in US in the 1970s for commercial use.
Asbestos Related Diseases
There are several different kinds of diseases that are related to exposure to asbestos fibers. The two main diseases are asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestosis: is a non-cancerous disease affecting the lungs. The symptoms of Asbestosis include:
- Shortness of breath
- Respiratory failure
Mesothelioma: is a malignant form of cancer that most commonly affects the lungs. The symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- chest wall pain
- pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung
- shortness of breath
- fatigue or anemia
- wheezing, hoarseness, or cough