Injury Law Terms:
A fibrous mineral used as insulation in buildings before it was banned in the 1980s. Individuals exposed to asbestos have been known to develop lung cancer, including mesothelioma, and other severe respiratory illnesses.
What Health Problems Can Asbestos Cause?
If you breathe in the fibers over long periods of time, you increase your risk for diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Smokers are even more affected. That’s because cigarette smoke irritates lung passages. This makes it harder for the lungs to remove asbestos fibers.
Mesothelioma. If you’ve worked with the substance, shared a home with someone who has, or lived close to an asbestos mine, see your doctor if you have trouble breathing or believe it’s affected your health.
He can do a chest X-ray or a pulmonary function test to see how much air your lungs can hold. A CT scan or biopsy might help him determine whether you have mesothelioma. That’s a type of cancer that affects the lining that covers the lungs, chest or abdomen. An early warning sign is fluid buildup around the lungs. Other symptoms include pain around the rib cage, problems breathing, a cough, pain or lumps in the belly, fatigue, and constipation.
People who have this kind of rare cancer were typically exposed to asbestos at work or lived with someone who was. It can take up to 20 years for symptoms to show up. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.