For decades, companies put asbestos in products and claimed that these products were safe. Everything from household appliances to shipbuilding materials commonly contained asbestos. It was touted as a safe and cheap material, even after it was discovered that inhaling or ingesting asbestos could, in fact, cause cancer.
Illnesses that are linked to asbestos exposure are not developed overnight. Often times, victims of mesothelioma, asbestosis and other lung cancers have been exposed to asbestos for many years, at different locations and because of the negligence of multiple parties. And even after toxic exposure levels have been reached, a person may not know they have developed these illnesses until decades later.
Exposure to asbestos has long been known to cause various types of cancer, specifically mesothelioma. People who breathe in the airborne fibers can develop serious illnesses that are ultimately fatal. Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer can be devastating for victims to cope with, and one of the first questions people may have is how and when they were exposed to such a deadly substance without knowing it.
People in North Carolina may be aware that Sept. 26 was Mesothelioma Awareness Day. While it is crucial to highlight awareness efforts and review the causes of and solutions to mesothelioma, most people affected by this terrible disease would agree that one day is not enough.
Asbestos has long been identified as a carcinogen. That means that exposure to the toxic substance can cause cancers such as mesothelioma, which is an aggressive and fatal disease. Even though people have known for decades that asbestos exposure can be toxic, many people went to work every day without being properly protected. Those who worked in shipyards, on construction sites and on railroads were among those exposed to asbestos on a regular basis.
A 74-year-old man worked for years in factories and on farms using gaskets, pumps and valves manufactured by three different companies. He had no reason to suspect that these products were dangerous, but they were ultimately what led to him developing mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer. The products the man was using were made with asbestos.
Mesothelioma is an especially deadly form of lung disease which results when an individual has been exposed to asbestos materials and fibers. In many cases, those diagnosed with mesothelioma have only months to live after a formal diagnosis is made. While death is swift, most individuals impacted by this deadly lung cancer suffer tremendously towards the end of their lives.
Diseases that are caused because of exposure to asbestos can be some of the most devastating illnesses. Many victims of mesothelioma, asbestosis and other types of lung cancer often develop the disease long before they notice any symptoms. In fact, a diagnosis for these illnesses often comes decades after exposure has taken place. Even more upsetting is that they can be quite aggressive. By the time a victim learns that he or she is suffering from an asbestos-related condition, it is too late for treatment to be effective. In many cases, it is just a matter of a few months before a person passes away.
Many people have seen the devastation of diseases that are caused or exacerbated by exposure to asbestos. After lying dormant for decades, asbestos-related diseases often start showing symptoms long after a person can protect themselves from being exposed. By the time a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or other similar disease, it can be too late for treatment to be effective and little can be done to help victims.
According to a recent report, Riverbend Steam Station in North Carolina is set to close soon. It was one of the first large-scale power plants in the area and is run by Duke Energy. In the process of closing these coal-fired plants, coal ash basins are left behind. These basins contain water and coal ash, which could harm residents in the area.