Asbestos can cause a number of diseases that may impact workers or other parties who were exposed many years or decades later. Asbestos-related diseases have been well-documented over time, and these injuries may be compensable if they can be linked to a workplace.
There are several types of asbestos-related diseases to know about, though the most commonly discussed is probably mesothelioma. Beyond that condition, some of the other possible asbestos-related conditions include:
- Lung cancer
- Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura or peritoneum
- Bronchogenic carcinoma
- Benign pleural effusion
- Diffuse pleural fibrosis
The most dangerous types of asbestos are those of the amphibole variety, as those are much more likely to cause malignant mesothelioma than chrysotile or other forms. The risk of developing an illness after exposure to an amphibole type of asbestos increases exponentially in the 40 to 50 years following exposure.
With better knowledge, patients get improved treatment
The nice thing about the history of asbestosis is that it has given researchers time to learn more about it, its structure and how it causes illness in the body. For over 100 years, the industrial value of asbestos has been clear, as have the serious side effects of exposure.
What should you do if you develop one of the many asbestos-related illnesses?
If you develop an asbestos-related disease, it’s important to keep good documentation. Start to think back to which jobs you may have performed that would have led to exposure. For example, if you were formerly an architect, were you ever exposed to remodeling attempts or asbestos in older buildings while working for your company? Are there other coworkers who developed the same kind of illness as you? These kinds of questions may help you link the illness back to your employer and the work you did for them, which may allow you to seek out compensation from them to help you get the care you need.
Asbestos-related diseases are serious and can be both progressive and fatal. Getting early treatment gives people the best chance of maintaining a good quality of life, so seek treatment as soon as you can.