Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | August 28, 2009

Kentucky lawyer Sanders can provide legal representation to persons suffering from asbestos-related injuries.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used for a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.

When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities, microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems.  Such fibers are sometimes called “friable” meaning that they can be crushed by a human hand.

Asbestos is toxic.   Six minerals are defined as “asbestos” including: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite.  The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious chronic illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis).

Since the mid 1980s, most developed countries and the European Union have banned asbestos.  Exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of several serious diseases:

 1.            Asbestosis- chronic inflammatory medical condition affecting the parenchymal tissue of the lungs. Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term non-cancer disease of the lungs. It is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers that irritate lung tissues and cause the tissues to scar. The scarring makes it hard for oxygen to get into the blood. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry, crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling. There is no effective treatment for asbestosis.;

2.            Lung cancer.  Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. People who work in the mining, milling, manufacturing of asbestos, and those who use asbestos and its products are more likely to develop lung cancer than the general population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and a change in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anemia.

3.            Mesothelioma- a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart) or tunica vaginalis. 

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining (membrane) of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart and almost all cases are linked to exposure to asbestos. This disease may not show up until many years after asbestos exposure. This is why great efforts are being made to prevent school children from being exposed.

4.            Other cancers, such as those of the larynx, oropharynx, gastrointestinal tract, and kidney.

For more information on these and other health effects of asbestos exposure see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s Web site.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an asbestos related illness, and need legal representation, give our office a call.  We may be able to assist you with advancing a legal claim for damages in a court of law.

 

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