- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Asbestosis Mesothelioma Facts
Asbestos exposure has been found to result in a wide variety of conditions, including asbestosis mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that attacks the lungs, heart or abdomen. This cancer is almost entirely caused by exposure to the fire retardant asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used widely in a variety of applications by many industries for the majority of the 20th century. When left alone asbestos is harmless. If damaged or disturbed, however, microscopic fibers release into the air where they are inhaled or ingested and then lodge in the tissue linings of organs.
If you live in a house built before 1980, chances are asbestos was used. So, if you ever do any renovating, be sure to consult an inspector first to find out if there is any asbestos present. If there is, don't try to remove it yourself. Hire an abatement company to remove it for you, because they will be prepared to remove and dispose of it properly.
The biggest obstacle in mesothelioma treatment is being able to detect it early. Asbestosis mesothelioma has a long latency period and symptoms don't usually begin for 25-50 years after exposure. Since this form of cancer is usually diagnosed in later stages, treatment options are usually limited and therefore inadequate. As a result, electricians, military personnel (especially those who had been in the U.S. Navy), firefighters, auto mechanics and people in other occupations who contracted mesothelioma look to law firms to help them receive compensation. Many feel it's their only course of action, because they know their efforts to affect cures may be fruitless and they want to leave their families with something. The reason these lawsuits are such big business is because many of the corporations and industries that incorporated asbestos into products knew of the dangers and kept using it. That makes them responsible for the resulting health effects in their unsuspecting employees.
Asbestosis Mesothelioma Symptoms
- Coughing up blood
- A persistent, dry cough that's sometimes accompanied by chest pain
- Shortness of breath that first occurs when you exert yourself, and as the disease progresses, when you rest
- Difficulty when swallowing
- Fever or night sweats
- X-rays show opaque areas that first appear at the bottom areas of the lungs and may slowly extend into the upper areas over time
- Restriction of lung functioning, either before or after any lung changes show on x-rays
- Unexplained loss of more than 10 percent of body weight
Surprising Uses of Asbestos
Asbestos has been used in numerous industrial and military applications over the years, but you may be surprised to learn that it was also used in a wide variety of common items. The following are just a sampling: