Mesothelioma is a particularly-deadly type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue surrounding multiple organs in the human body. As the most commonly-affected area is the lining around the lungs and chest wall, shortness of breath is often one of the first symptoms. That being said, Mesothelioma is a slow-growing form of cancer, and initial symptoms can take decades to appear. For this reason, the disease is often quite advanced when diagnosed.
More than 80 percent of Mesothelioma cases are a result of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was used in insulation before the risks were known. Well, at least before the public knew about the risks. There is evidence that asbestos manufacturers knew about the dangers long before the federal government began regulating its use. In addition to asbestos-based products, the carcinogenic mineral occurs naturally underground. As such, construction workers, those who mine asbestos, and people who work with asbestos-based products are most at risk of developing this deadly disease.
Asbestos is Not a Thing of the Past
It is a common misconception that asbestos is no longer an issue in the workplace. For starters, any building built before 1980 may contain asbestos in the roof, walls, or insulation. And even buildings built after 1980 may have asbestos. For these reasons, construction workers still have an increased risk of asbestos exposure, and thus, of developing Mesothelioma or lung cancer. A MA work injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you are suffering from a work-related illness or injury.
Auto mechanics also have a higher risk of asbestos exposure. In 1989, the US Environmental Protection Agency began the process of phasing out asbestos-based brakes. But a federal court rescinded the ban in 1991. Recent analysis shows that dust samples taken from brake repair shops contain significant levels of asbestos. Unfortunately, the majority of auto-repair shops are ill-equipped to deal with this problem. In fact, compressed air used to blow dust from brakes can exacerbate the problem, filling the air with millions of asbestos-containing dust particles. All auto-repair shops should consider purchasing respirators and vacuums for mechanics who work on brakes.
Who is Most at Risk?
Although your risk of asbestos exposure is significantly lower today than 30 years ago, workers in many occupations are still at risk. Asbestos exposure remains a hazard for those who work in:
- Auto-repair shops
- Construction sites
- Manufacturing plants
- Paper mills
- Power plants
- Ship yards
And in the following industries:
- Auto-repair mechanics
- Pipe fitters
- Refinery workers
- Shipyard workers
A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve developed a work-related injury or illness.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Work Injury Lawyers Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas
If you have been injured on the job, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. If you developed Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs. Even if the exposure occurred decades ago and the company is no longer in business, you may have options. More than $35 billion has been allocated for workers who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses. This money is placed in trust funds for workers who cannot recover from past employers because those employers no longer exist. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience in this area, and we want to help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t go through this difficult time alone, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.