Up until the 1980s, asbestos forms were widely used in the construction industry along with other asbestos-laden products. Asbestos was hugely popular in several industries because it was inexpensive, long-lasting, lightweight and strong. However, in addition to being highly practical, asbestos was also found to be extremely dangerous.
Industries knew about the harmful nature of asbestos as early as the 1930s, but it seems the desire for financial gain caused them to keep this information private. Workers who were exposed to harmful asbestos on a daily basis were not made aware of the dangers involved with it. Industries also failed to furnish workers with the necessary safety equipment for protection against asbestos exposure.
Those who have worked in construction or aboard sea-faring vessels are most likely to have been exposed to asbestos while on the job. Fortunately, in 1977, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of asbestos. On the other hand, a large number of asbestos-laden products manufactured before the 1980s still remain in existence.
The Effects of Exposure to Asbestos Forms
One of the most adverse effects of exposure to asbestos forms is a deadly variation of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure alone, so there is no question regarding its cause. Some of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma can be confused with symptoms associated with pneumonia and the flu. As a result, this disease sometimes goes untreated for a long time. Some of the more advanced signs of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, lower back pain and pleural effusion (excess accumulation of fluid around the lungs).
Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
If you have consulted your physician and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, then a number of treatment options may be discussed. Some of the most popular treatments include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Your physician may also recommend clinical trials if the treatment under study may be of some value to you. Some people choose to go another route by using alternative medicines instead of, or in conjunction with, traditional medicinal treatments.
Legal Options for Mesothelioma Sufferers
Once you’ve secured the proper medical care, you should also consult a mesothelioma attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. Because many companies knowingly subjected workers to asbestos exposure without taking the necessary safety measures or providing safety equipment, several are being charged with negligence. If a former or current employer is legally found to have been negligent, then you may be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, and other mesothelioma-related expenses.