Mesothelioma refers to a condition and life-threatening type of cancer which is directly associated with an individual’s exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a fibrous material which was once used as a flame retardant in buildings and other products, and can cause chronic and sometimes fatal diseases when its dust is inhaled and settles in the lungs. While the manufacture of asbestos in USA was prohibited in 1978, the use of asbestos was allowed. This means that homes and buildings that were built in the late middle of 1980 may have been contained asbestos.
Different Types of Asbestos-Related Diseases
The diseases that were related with the exposure of asbestos were acknowledged in the early part of the20th century and asbestos-related lawsuits were (and still being) filed since 1960. Aside from mesothelioma, the exposure of asbestos can also cause “asbestosis,” a condition where there is fibrous scarring of the lung tissues, and other forms of lung cancer.
Mesothelioma is still uncommon, but approximately 200 new cases of the illness are submitted every day and virtually all of them can be traced from the exposure of asbestos. This type of cancer tends to hit individuals who are exposed to asbestos.
The Risks Factors of Exposure to Asbestos
Many individuals were exposed to asbestos in any time of their lives, but usually it does not make you sick. Most of the houses and office buildings were built before the 1980’s has some asbestos where people may be exposed at minimal level.
But for people who are exposed to asbestos on a regular basis for a prolonged time is at higher risks, especially those who work directly with asbestos. Examples of these people are the asbestos miners, shipbuilders, carpenters, and others who are involved in the production of asbestos products, and they have the greatest risks for asbestos-associated diseases. Other people who may have risks of being exposed to asbestos are drywall removers, demolition workers, and firefighters.
The Law and the Asbestos
Most of the regulations where people are protected from the exposure of asbestos are in the workplace. Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA developed standards that safeguard workers in two different industries, the shipbuilding and construction. The third standards cover the exposure of asbestos in general setting which include custodial worker, brake repair, and asbestos-product manufacturing. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA extends the protection of OSHA to the state and local workers who are exposed to asbestos.
Legal accountability for the asbestos-associated diseases generally fall under the product liability law, which is based on the violation of warranty, negligence, or strict liability. Since the asbestos-associated diseases may take as long 40 years from the time of exposure to show, the defense lawyers usually claimed that it is impossible to point the cause of the disease. In any case, discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer if you think you have an asbestos-associated injury.