For decades, many workers engaged in building construction, demolitions and shipbuilding were constantly handling asbestos. The contractors usually used asbestos as a fireproof material and as a thermal insulator. Years later, workers who handled this material developed respiratory problems that proved to be incurable and fatal.
Then, several scientists discovered that the handling of asbestos-caused workers to contract Mesothelioma, a type of lethal cancer. Once these studies were made public, thousands of workers and their families filed lawsuits related to Mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks the pleura, the protective layer that covers the lungs. While this type of cancer is extremely rare in most patients, it is usually detected in many people who handle asbestos lung cancer disease.
SEE ALSO:: How Many Types of Mesothelioma?
Scientific studies have shown that asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can irritate the pleura. They can also lodge around the lungs damaging the cells of the pleural mesothelium. This cellular damage can contribute to the formation of malignant tumors and, therefore, in the development of Mesothelioma.
Risky Occupations as a Result of Mesothelioma
Thousands of workers are at risk of contracting Mesothelioma. Almost any job that involves protecting materials exposed to extreme heat involves handling asbestos. Many of these workers handled asbestos without wearing respiratory masks or protective clothing. Some of the occupations known to handle asbestos are:
- Shipyard workers
- Military veterans
- Workers of power plants
- Floor and carpet trimmers
- and many other occupations
Characteristics of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma develops slowly in the body and often, many victims do not know that they have cancer until the last stages when it is diagnosed through pathology tests.
6 Some Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma
- A dry cough, breathing with whistles
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Muscular weakness
- Pleural effusions
- Respiratory complications
SEE ALSO:: Symptoms of Mesothelioma Lung Cancer
Risks of Contracting Mesothelioma
Although the use of asbestos has been banned for decades, the risk of contracting Mesothelioma is still present in our current environment. Workers who demolish or renovate buildings that still contain asbestos have the risk of contracting this disease. Walls, pipes, boilers and other areas may still contain very high levels of asbestos.
Spouses and other family members also have the risk of contracting Mesothelioma during the time they inhale the asbestos fibers adhering to the worker’s clothing.
Deaths by Mesothelioma
Asbestos fibers can lodge in the lungs for years, attacking the cells of the Mesothelial until they turn into lethal malignant tumors.
It is common for patients who contract Mesothelioma to be diagnosed decades after their first exposure to asbestos. By then, Mesothelioma is already in its terminal stage. More than 90 percent of all patients who develop this type of cancer will die within 5 years of the corresponding diagnosis.
Payments in Trials Related to Mesothelioma
It is possible that those patients and relatives, who have contracted mesothelioma, have the right to sue the employers who exposed them to asbestos. These demands are a means for the affected people to obtain the compensation they deserve, including the expenses incurred and to recover their financial stability. The payments that are granted in these trials can be used to cover:
- Costs related to surgery
- Costs related to chemotherapy and radiotherapies
- Hospice care
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of current income (salary)
- Disability compensation
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- And many more
SEE ALSO:: How Much Compensation for Mesothelioma?
Many of the people who go to work understand that they may be exposed to certain occupational hazards. However, there are still many workers not only from past decades but from nowadays, who face a danger they do not even know exists: cancer-related with exposure to asbestos.