Patching plaster has been widely used for its ability to plug gaps and holes that are found in ceilings and walls. One component of patching plaster that made it so effective was asbestos. As a lightweight, fire-resistant, durable and inexpensive material, asbestos was favored by a number of industries. Despite its mass appeal, asbestos was also found to be highly toxic. As a result, it led to the development of asbestosis and a deadly form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma.
What Does Mesothelioma Have to Do With Patching Plaster?
The asbestos contained in many types of patching plaster used prior to the 1980s proved to be extremely harmful when inhaled or swallowed. Mesothelioma develops when one is subjected to repeated or long-term exposure to the asbestos found in patching plaster. Since mesothelioma can take several years to completely form, those who live or work around asbestos can be unknowingly exposed to asbestos. In the early stages of mesothelioma, one may manifest flu-like symptoms or even appear to have pneumonia. These symptoms can make mesothelioma very difficult to diagnose.
What to Do If You’ve Been Exposed to Patching Plaster Asbestos
If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to patching plaster asbestos, the first thing you should do is ask your doctor to test you for mesothelioma. You can consider yourself fortunate if no mesothelioma is found. However, if mesothelioma is detected, your next step is to consult a mesothelioma attorney so you can determine what legal rights you have. You may be entitled compensation due to the negligence of a former employer. This compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to mesothelioma.
Is Patching Plaster Asbestos Still Legal?
While many industries have known about patching plaster asbestos and the harmful effects of its exposure since the 1930s, asbestos-laden products remained in production for decades to follow. It wasn’t until the 1980s that consumer products ceased to be manufactured without asbestos. This was primarily due to a ban the Consumer Product Safety Commission instituted in 1977. This ban outlawed the use of asbestos in patching plaster and other materials.
Unfortunately, much harm was already done and many people ended up suffering from lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and other conditions related to asbestos exposure. Besides, this ban only applied to new products manufactured, so previously produced materials that contained asbestos still remained. For this reason, anyone who works or lives around material that contains patching plaster manufactured prior to the 1980s should be checked for mesothelioma.