Whether from a news story or a scientific finding, chances are you have heard about asbestos and its dangers. If you are exposed to asbestos, you are at risk of developing a rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
If your exposure to asbestos was attributable to someone’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial restitution through a mesothelioma lawsuit. To build a strong case and receive the compensation you deserve, however, it helps to understand what you are dealing with.
So, what is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that for decades was used in plastic, clothing, cement, paper and other industries thanks to its heat, corrosion and electricity-resistant features. Prior to its regulation in the 1970s, asbestos was largely used in manufacturing, construction and other blue-collar industries. And this means that many industry workers were somehow exposed to the mineral.
Health complications you are likely to develop if you are exposed to asbestos
Complications associated with asbestos exposure have a very long latency period. This means that it may take decades to show the symptoms. In fact, most mesothelioma patients often get diagnosed over 15 -30 years after exposure to asbestos.
Long-term exposure to asbestos can result in a chronic lung disease known as asbestosis. This develops if asbestos fibers are lodged in your lungs’ alveoli, leading to scarring of the lungs. Potential signs of asbestosis include tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, dry and persistent coughs and clubbing of fingers.
Protecting your rights
If you develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related complications, it’s important that you seek treatment as soon as possible. A qualified mesothelioma doctor will help you come up with a treatment plan that suits your circumstances. Next, you need to put your evidence together so you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the liable party.