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.
Victims of an asbestos-related disease no doubt experience some very difficult and trying emotions from the moment they are diagnoses. They are often angry, confused, sad, frightened and often determined to hold the party responsible for their illness accountable.
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.
Long before asbestos makes it way into our homes, office buildings and construction materials, it starts in a mine. And when it comes to mines like the one in Northern Vermont, it can still pose a threat to people and the environment even when it is inactive. Recently, the state filed a lawsuit against the Vermont Asbestos Group, who owns the mine, looking to recover the costs of preventing the asbestos in the mine from being released and cleaning up the damage that has already been done by the toxic mineral.
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.
The risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos are clearly understood. People generally know that breathing in asbestos can do irreversible damage to someone's health, which is why business and property owners are expected to take certain precautions when there is asbestos present.
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.
Victims of asbestos-related diseases often have a very difficult time understanding how they were exposed, when they were exposed and who is responsible for the exposure. And to make matters worse, many companies will do whatever they can to avoid taking responsibility for negligently exposing workers and consumers to asbestos.