WHAT IS MESOTHELIOMA?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue, known as mesothelium, the covers most internal organs. Mesothelioma is aggressive and deadly. While treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation are available, there is no cure.
There are different types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma – affects the tissue surrounding the lungs
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – affects the tissue surrounding in the abdomen
- Pericardial mesothelioma – affects the tissue surrounding the heart
- Tunica vaginalis – affects tissue surrounding the testicles
Symptoms of mesothelioma can include trouble breathing, pain under the ribcage, weight loss or pain, swelling or lumps in the abdomen and more.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in rocks. Asbestos fibers are fire resistant and cannot easily be destroyed or degraded. The fibers are also durable, strong, thin and flexible, which has made asbestos ideal in the manufacturing and building industries for myriad consumer products.
Does asbestos cause cancer?
Studies of workers that have been exposed to asbestos show that asbestos can cause cancer of the lining of internal organs. Asbestos fibers are tiny and invisible to the naked eye. Some fibers can float through the air and be inhaled. The fibers can also pas through vacuum cleaner filters and be released once again into the air. When the fibers are inhaled, they become lodged in the lining of vital organs such as the heart, lungs and stomach. The cancer that develops after the fibers have settled into the lining is known as mesothelioma. The symptoms of mesothelioma often take decades to appear.
In addition to mesothelioma, asbestosis is another disease that is caused by prolonged asbestos exposure. While not cancerous, asbestosis is a breathing disorder caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. It can cause scarring of the lung tissue as well as shortness of breath. Like mesothelioma, the symptoms of asbestosis may not present themselves for many years after asbestos exposure
Can anyone who has been exposed to asbestos get sick?
Many people who have been exposed to small amounts of asbestos do not develop problems. Asbestos products that are in good condition generally do not cause many problems. It is when asbestos fibers are released into the air that the danger begins. Many workers in the building, manufacturing or mining industries who have had prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers in the air have developed mesothelioma. Additionally, these workers have gone home covered in asbestos fibers and unknowingly put their families at risk.
What do I do if there is asbestos in my home?
If you believe your home was built using materials that contain asbestos, it is important that you do not try and remove it yourself. It is best to have a licensed asbestos contractor remove it for you. The fibers are extremely dangerous when released into the air, and a trained professional will be able to take proper safety precautions to contain and remove the material.
What causes mesothelioma?
According to the American Cancer Society, most cases of mesothelioma have been linked to asbestos in the workplace. Asbestos is a group of minerals that occurs naturally and is resistant to heat and fire. It was used widely in the past for insulation, roofing, brake pads and more. This means that construction workers, insulation makers and installers, mechanics, railroad workers, factory workers and a host of other professions at the time were at risk of asbestos exposure. Additionally, because the fibers could travel on skin and clothing, the families of workers could also have been exposed. Asbestos may also be present in older homes, apartments or buildings.
Most asbestos use in the United States stopped after 1989, but the incidence of mesothelioma remains due to the sheer length of time it takes before symptoms present themselves. When asbestos fibers are breathed in or swallowed, the body has a hard time destroying or getting rid of them. Thus, over a long period of time, the fibers cause biological changes that can result in scarring, inflammation and genetic changes, particularly in the tissue that surrounds the lungs. It can take decades for symptoms to appear and, often times, these symptoms are mistaken for something else. It is imperative that you inform your doctor that you have been exposed to asbestos.You may also want to contact the Fort Lauderdale asbestos mesothelioma attorneys at Wolf & Pravato. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and have been exposed to asbestos in the past, you may be eligible for damages.
Who can be held liable for asbestos exposure?
Asbestos was once extremely popular in the building and manufacturing industries due to its strength and ability to resist fire, heat, chemical and electrical damage and also for its sound absorption. Asbestos was primarily lauded by these industries, however, for its affordability. Thus, it became a go-to solution and has been used worldwide. The use of asbestos products became regulated in the 1980s, but the dangerous effects of asbestos exposure had already known by many companies for decades. It is possible that many companies kept these dangers a secret in order to continue manufacturing with useful and cheap asbestos.
How long do I have to file my mesothelioma claim?
Since it can take decades after asbestos exposure for any symptoms to appear, the time limit with which you can file a claim will start following your diagnosis. The state of Florida has a statute in place that limits the amount of time you have to file your mesothelioma claim. You have four years after your diagnosis or your family will have two years in order to file a wrongful death claim.
What can I recover in my mesothelioma claim?
You may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and much more. When filing a lawsuit about asbestos exposure in the workplace, different parties can be held liable, such as:
- The asbestos manufacturing company
- The company that manufactured faulty protective equipment
- The owners of the premises where work was being performed
- Any contractors/sub-contractors involved in the work
Florida Mesothelioma Attorneys at Wolf & Pravato
If you are a Florida resident or retiree who has relocated to Florida and you believe you have have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, it is important you receive information regarding your rights. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, contact the asbestos mesothelioma attorneys at Wolf & Pravato — 1-954-633-8270.