Could someone in your family have Mesothelioma cancer? If you or a family member has been exposed to asbestos, then there is a chance of developing this cancer as a result. You should understand everything you can about Mesothelioma and what legal options you and your family might have.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is caused primarily by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed in older people who have worked with asbestos in an industrial environment. The prognosis for mesothelioma is poor, however early detection and advanced treatment methods have given many Mesothelioma patients new hope.
This rare cancer affects the membranes that line the organs in the chest and abdomen, resulting in symptoms that include the following:
- Chest pain
- Painful breathing
- Ongoing Cough
- Fluid build-up
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
When Was Asbestos Used?
After being increasingly utilized during World War II, asbestos was prevalent in many industries. It provided strength in building products, was used for insulation purposes and in roofing materials.
Due to the fire-retardant characteristic of asbestos, it was ideal for fireproofing buildings. It also served as a sound absorber, making asbestos a product contained in many school buildings.
It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century when asbestos-related cancers become more recognizable, that measures were taken to reduce the exposure to asbestos. The risk of exposure to the dangerous mineral remains high during renovation projects, remodels, and demolitions of structures containing asbestos products. When the mineral becomes disturbed, it is released into the air as dust and can be inhaled, putting individuals at risk for lung cancer.
How Are You Exposed to Asbestos?
The exposure to asbestos occurs when the minerals are disturbed and released into the air. Those who work in certain industries are at an increased risk for asbestos exposure due to the duties performed at work and the processes in place. Exposure to asbestos can also occur while making products containing asbestos, when working with insulation that contains asbestos, or during construction projects that include demolition or renovation.
Individuals are exposed to asbestos in essentially two ways. The first occurs in the installation of products. This normally happened years ago. The other situation in which people are exposed to asbestos is when materials containing it are taken out or disturbed (i.e. renovation projects). People who changed brakes on their cars could be exposed both putting them on and taking them off.
How Does Asbestos Get Into Your System?
When asbestos is disturbed, it is released into the air as dust. The inhalation of these minerals puts the individual at risk, as some of the tiny particles can remain within the lungs. According to the American Cancer Society, when the asbestos particles accumulate within the lungs, they can cause scarring and inflammation. The build-up of this scarring and inflammation can then lead to a number of different diseases including the development of mesothelioma.
What are the Riskiest Occupations for Mesothelioma Exposure?
Those individuals at risk to develop mesothelioma include workers from a specified list of industries and trades that utilized asbestos for its various properties.
Workers from the following companies in the Northwest Ohio area could have been exposed to asbestos and risk the chance of developing mesothelioma:
- Power plants – ACME, Bay Shore, Steam Plant, Davis Besse, Monroe Coal Burner, Consumer Energy, Enrico Fermi
- Automotive Plants – General Motors Foundry, Chrysler Assembly, Chrysler Fostoria Foundry
- Glass making factories – Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company in Rossford, Libbey Glass in Toledo & East Toledo
- Refineries in Toledo – British Petroleum (BP), Sunoco, Gulf Oil, Pure Oil
- Nearly all other industrial settings in Northwest Ohio
Individuals who worked in commercial buildings of any size may have been exposed to asbestos, possibly causing scarring of the lungs and mesothelioma. Other workers affected by asbestos include those employed in the following industries and professions:
- Shipping and rail yards
- Ship building
- Carbon black plants
- Fiber glass and asbestos plants
- Food processing plants
- Military services involving shipping
- Air Force
- Employees in school buildings
- Employees in University buildings
- All manufacturing plants that use steam or had high-temperature processes
- Anyone in building trades
What products contain asbestos?
The following list does not include every product that might contain asbestos. It is a general guide to show which types of materials might contain asbestos.
- Cement Pipes
- Cement Wallboard
- Cement Siding
- Asphalt Floor Tile
- Vinyl Floor Tile
- Vinyl Sheet Flooring
- Flooring Backing
- Construction Mastics
- Acoustical Plaster
- Decorative Plaster
- Textured Paints/Coatings
- Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels
- Spray-Applied Insulation
- Blown-in Insulation
- Fireproofing Materials
- Taping Compounds (thermal)
- Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations)
- High Temperature Gaskets
- Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops
- Laboratory Gloves
- Fire Blankets and Curtains
- Elevator Equipment Panels
- HVAC Duct Insulation
- Boiler Insulation
- Breaching Insulation
- Ductwork Flexible Fabric Connections
- Cooling Towers
- Pipe Insulation
- Heating and Electrical Ducts
- Electrical Panel Partitions
- Electrical Cloth
- Electric Wiring Insulation
- Roofing Shingles
- Roofing Felt
- Roll Roofing
- Roof Patching Cement
- Base Flashing
- Thermal Paper Products
- Fire Doors
- Joint Compounds
- Vinyl Wall Coverings
- Spackling Compounds
What is the Latency Period of Asbestos?
One of the distinguishing factors of asbestos disease is the long latency period between exposure to the dust and the appearance of symptoms, with the normal range being 25-40 years. The advice that attorney Charlie Contrada gives to individuals who believe that they have developed asbestos disease is that “you are your best witness.” Your personal memory is very important to help find the answers related to your case, including where you may have been exposed to asbestos. Specifics such as where you worked in the past or where you lived can help your case.
Once you begin to have symptoms of mesothelioma, it is critical to contact a mesothelioma lawyer immediately. Doing so will allow them to work with you on your case and increase the chances of you and your family receiving a settlement.
Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
If you were exposed to asbestos at one of the locations listed above, or within one of the industries identified as a risk for asbestos exposure, we recommend calling a mesothelioma lawyer.
At Contrada & Associates, we have a database of asbestos products that can help identify whether you may have been exposed. If there is a chance that you will develop mesothelioma, our Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan mesothelioma lawyer Charlie Contrada can help you to pursue a claim. Our office also has established relationships with national resources, as well as access to the top mesothelioma and asbestos experts in the country, allowing us to provide the evidence needed to support your claim.
What are my legal options after being exposed to asbestos?
Attorney Charlie Contrada is the only mesothelioma lawyer in Northwest Ohio who has handled cases for over 25 years for individuals who have been exposed to asbestos.
Contrada & Associates is a proven partner for anyone seeking damages due to asbestos exposure and risk of mesothelioma. To speak to attorney Charlie Contrada about your history with asbestos and the legal options that you have, call 419.841.4400. You will have direct access to the only mesothelioma lawyer in Northwest Ohio, allowing you the personal attention and answers you need.