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What Health Hazards Are Associated With Asbestos Exposure?

20th April 2011
By Wendy Moyer in Law
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Asbestos has been widely used in the construction, ship building, automobile, and flooring and roofing industries for many years. Unfortunately, many people who are exposed to asbestos in their communities, homes, or workplace eventually are struck with life threatening diseases.

That's because when asbestos fibers or particles are inhaled they tend to get trapped in a person's lungs and stay there for a very long time. The human body has a very difficult time expelling asbestos fibers. Consequently, over the course of several decades, the accumulated fibers initially cause scarring and inflammation of the lungs. Over time this will often lead to difficulty breathing,

And often, when the asbestos victim finally goes to the doctor, he or she finds that they are diagnosed with either malignant mesothelioma or asbestosis.

The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Human Services, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have all classified asbestos as a known human carcinogen. As such it is a substance that causes cancer.

Numerous studies have shown that when people are exposed to asbestos their risk of acquiring lung cancer and/or mesothelioma is increased. Although mesothelioma is relatively rare, it is the most common type of cancer that's associated to exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer of the thin membranes lining the abdomen and chest. Asbestosis is an inflammatory condition. It affects the lungs and may cause coughing, shortness of breath, and permanent damage to the lungs.

Asbestosis may also cause additional nonmalignant pleural and lung disorders which include pleural plaques, benign pleural effusions, and pleural thickening. Pleural plaques, which are changes in the membranes that surround the lung, aren't precursors to lung cancer. However there is evidence that suggests that people who have pleural disease that was the result of asbestos exposure might be at an increased risk for developing lung cancer.

In addition to asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer, a number of studies have also suggested that asbestos exposure is associated with colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers, as well as increased risk for cancers of the kidney, gallbladder, throat, and esophagus. However this evidence is not conclusive.

The majority of people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos related diseases were exposed to asbestos while they were at work. It's been shown that many of the companies that employed these people were aware of the dangers they were subjecting their employees to.

Many people who have been diagnosed with asbestos related diseases (or their survivors) have successfully entered into lawsuits that have held these firms accountable for their actions. And a lot of multi-million dollar settlements have be awarded to these plaintiffs by the courts.

If you or someone you love has lung cancer of an asbestos related disease then you may want to contact a law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation.


To contact a very successful asbestos law firm in order to arrange for free initial consultation go to

Wendy Moyer on behalf of Sokolove Law.
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