Defining Mesothelioma

You may have heard of this type of cancer from the many TV and radio commercials that are currently airing.

Mesothelioma is a cancer directly caused by exposure to and inhalation of asbestos, affecting the lining that protects the lungs, heart, stomach, and other vital organs. About 3,000 patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. The most common type is pleural mesothelioma, affecting the lungs.

If you or a loved one has ever worked in:

  • Construction (commercial and residential)
  • Shipyards
  • Civilian contractor jobs
  • Oil refineries

The cancer is caused by inhaling or ingesting particles of asbestos and has a long period before symptoms appear. Once symptoms appear, such as shortness of breath, a diagnosis isn’t far behind.

You may have experienced asbestos exposure. Pipefitters, electricians, and firefighters and others who work in certain industries have a higher potential of exposure to asbestos as well as teachers who work in older schools with worn or damaged materials.

You can read more about mesothelioma here.

What Is Asbestos?

A series of fibrous minerals that are naturally occurring are collectively called “asbestos.” This carcinogenic material was once lauded as the “miracle mineral” for its durability and fire-resistant qualities. The airborne nature of the fiber means that asbestos is easily inhaled when handled or used.

Asbestos becomes very dangerous when it’s disturbed in any way, including during moving or removal. The use of asbestos is heavily restricted, but still exists in homes, commercial buildings and other structures where owners, tenants and residents may be unaware of its presence.

Both the EPA and OSHA have strict regulations on the use and remediation of asbestos due to its hazardous nature. Part of remediation involves the application of a sealant to encapsulate the fibers to prevent possible chipping.

You can read more about asbestos and the risks associated with it on our Asbestos page.

Veterans and Mesothelioma

All branches of the armed services utilized asbestos during the 20th century for its fireproofing properties that would help keep service members safe. Unfortunately, working with and around asbestos exposed these same members to this dangerous substance that causes health problems long after they were away from it. The military continued using this fibrous mineral long after the effects of asbestos exposure were known. As a result, veterans have a high risk of service-connected mesothelioma and may be eligible for VA disability benefits.

If you believe you have mesothelioma that’s service related, the first thing to do is find and begin receiving treatment, then seek legal counsel.

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The “Dirty Little Secret”

Asbestos has been in use for over 100 years, and the toxic effects on humans was well-known long before anyone stopped using it. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear for 20 to 50 years after exposure, and treatment can be physically demanding as well as financially devastating.

It’s important to act quickly. Once you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or discover that a loved one’s death was the result of mesothelioma, you’ll only have a short time window to file a lawsuit and begin litigation. Don’t lose your opportunity to file a mesothelioma claim and lose your rights to potential compensation. Learn more about how we can help.

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