At Serling & Abramson, PC, we specialize in asbestos litigation and represent victims suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related illnesses. Explore the following pages to learn more about these topics in depth.
People can come into contact with asbestos in their homes, communities, or at work. When asbestos-containing products are disturbed, tiny fibers are sent into the air. If these fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs. The body cannot get rid of these fibers, which can eventually cause inflammation, scarring, breathing difficulties, and health problems.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Health, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have all concluded that asbestos is a human carcinogen. Research shows that asbestos exposure can increase a person's risk of developing mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Approximately 70% to 90% of patients who develop mesothelioma, an incurable type of cancer, have some prior asbestos exposure commonly through work. Mesothelioma cases tend to come from those working near or in shipyards and plants that produce asbestos products.
In the United States, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed annually. Before regulations concerning asbestos were established, workers carried home asbestos fibers on their clothing, exposing their family members as well. In addition, those living or working near asbestos-related operations can be exposed to asbestos released into the environment.
Many companies were aware of the hazards of asbestos exposure but continued to risk the health of their employees by failing to take steps to protect their workers. As a result, former employees who later develop mesothelioma may be eligible for financial compensation from the employer or other parties responsible for the asbestos exposure.
Specific types of lung cancer have been directly associated with asbestos exposure. Unfortunately, lung cancer can develop 20 or more years after asbestos exposure, making it hard to trace at times.
Until the 1970s, the dangers of asbestos were not publicly known, meaning many workers in construction, shipbuilding, welding, and the military (among others) were not aware that they were being exposed to this known human carcinogen. Most companies and the military branches using asbestos products were not aware of the dangers either until the late 1970s. It was the asbestos companies that knew and hid it from public knowledge and didn't notify other companies or the military that used their asbestos products until it was too late. They knowingly put millions of workers and their families at risk for decades. To this day, men and women are still discovering they were exposed to asbestos and are, consequently, victims of lung cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Am I at Risk?
There are many established trades that have worked with and around products containing asbestos. If you or a loved one worked with any of these products, in any of these trades, or in close proximity to one of these tradesmen and developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another asbestos-related illness, you may be entitled to file a legal claim and receive a substantial monetary recovery.