How Does Mesothelioma Form?
Nicole Winch | January 21, 2020
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects around 3,000 Americans each year. The only proven cause of this disease is exposure to a toxic substance known as asbestos.
When inhaled or ingested, asbestos particles can become lodged in the lining of lungs or abdomen. A patient is usually diagnosed with mesothelioma after receiving a biopsy, which occurs after they and a doctor notice an abnormality in one of these areas.
Mesothelioma usually develops between 20 and 50 years after exposure to asbestos, which is why seniors and veterans are more prone to this disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the lawyers at BCBH Law can determine where you were exposed and build a case for you.
Here are three primary types of asbestos exposure that lead to a mesothelioma diagnosis.
During the 20th century, many occupations involved handling asbestos on a daily basis. Asbestos was readily available and used for its insulating and fire-retardant properties before it was regulated in the 1980s.
This material was also cheap to produce, which is why many companies ignored the many health risks it possessed. Companies that continued to manufacture and use asbestos products harmed any employees working with or around it.
The occupations considered the most at risk for asbestos exposure include construction workers, military personnel and automobile mechanics. People who worked in shipyards or as electricians were also highly exposed.
Most branches of the military used asbestos products heavily. It’s easy access and fire-resistant qualities made it perfect for use in Navy ships and vehicles. In fact, veterans make up the largest group (around 33%) of people diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Many of the veterans with mesothelioma held occupations in the military that put them in high risk of asbestos exposure. Boilermen, shipyard workers and construction engineers were all military jobs associated with significant risk of exposure.
Here at BCBH Law, our lawyers have helped many patients receive compensation from the companies that put their health in danger.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in the earth’s soil. When asbestos is above ground and disturbed, fibers are released into the air. Although rare, disturbed asbestos particles can contaminate water supplies such as rivers and lakes through run-off land erosion.
The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry states that people should take precautions if living near natural asbestos deposits because they could be exposed by shoveling or digging dirt. Asbestos fibers can also be released into the air by running, biking or off-roading on unpaved surfaces.
Some mesothelioma claims involve people who have never worked around asbestos. However, they were still exposed regularly.
Occupations involving asbestos usually were blue-collar jobs, ones held primarily by males. They would bring asbestos dust into the home through their clothes, skin or hair.
These workers’ family and friends were put at risk of secondhand exposure, as asbestos fibers could easily be transferred from clothing and hair. Doing laundry can even lead to breathing in this toxic substance.
As a mesothelioma patient, you are entitled to compensation for the years of asbestos exposure you endured. At BCBH Law, our attorneys are experienced in gathering evidence and building a mesothelioma case on the patient’s behalf. Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit can get you and your family the much-needed compensation to help offset the costs of any medical treatments or lost wages.
- Asbestos in Your Environment: What You Can Do to Limit ExposureAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Retrieved from: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/docs/limitingenvironmentalexposures_factsheet-508.pdf. Accessed: 01/17/20.
- Risk Factors for Malignant MesotheliomaAmerican Cancer Society Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html. Accessed: 01/17/20.