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Symptoms of mesothelioma can be confused with a host of other conditions. People may experience symptoms of mesothelioma similar to the flu, such as fever, sore throat, chest pain, nausea, and cough. Other signs of mesothelioma may include excessive sweating, weight loss, and shortness of breath. This is why it is important to also be aware of increased exposure risks.

About Mesothelioma Exposure

Sad Older PeopleCompanies during the 20th century did not know about mesothelioma. They couldn’t figure out why workers were getting sick. It took decades of investigation before researchers figured out the cause was from asbestos. The microscopic fibers can lead to the development of mesothelioma. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reconfirmed asbestos exposure as the leading cause of mesothelioma. The agency also explained that it doesn’t matter the fiber length of asbestos, it is still cancerous to humans.

Mesothelioma Occupational Risks

Factors that increase the risk of mesothelioma from asbestos exposure include:
  • Working at an asbestos mine or processing plant
  • Working in a high-risk occupational setting, such as the construction or automotive industries
  • Serving on military ships or facilities built with products containing asbestos
  • Living in a residential area near an asbestos mine
  • Home renovation with asbestos

Other Risks

Besides the occupational risks which make mesothelioma exposure more prevalent, there are other factors that could increase your risk.

Exposure to Mineral Fibers

Studies linked the mineral called zeolite to increased mesothelioma development.

Radiation Exposure

In some cases, the risk for mesothelioma increases after a person receives radiation therapy as a treatment for other cancers.

Researchers discovered a genetic mutation could play a part in increasing one’s risk of developing mesothelioma.
Age and Gender
Men older than 45 are more susceptible to mesothelioma. Males are more common to have worked in the professions with asbestos.

Locations of Asbestos Exposure

AsbestosAsbestos once filled countless U.S. homes and businesses in the form of insulation and heat-protecting materials. Throughout the construction boom following WWII, asbestos was a key element in thousands of industrial and household products, including drywall, wiring, glues and adhesives, ceiling tiles, cement, and shingles.
Some of these asbestos products remain in old structures. They are harmless if not disturbed. Asbestos injured workers while on the job.
When the asbestos industry was booming, families of workers were at great risk. Workers often came home with asbestos fibers in their hair, work clothes, and tools. This exposed family members to the toxic substance and increasing their risk of related diseases.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) presented a Workers’ Home Contamination Study to Congress that showed “families of asbestos-exposed workers have been at increased risk of pleural, pericardial or peritoneal mesothelioma, lung cancer, cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, and nonmalignant pleural and parenchymal abnormalities as well as asbestosis.”
Occupations that are at high risk for exposure in older buildings include firefighters, contractors, demolition workers, electricians, and plumbers.

Asbestos Occupational Exposure

The risk for asbestos-related illnesses is highest for people who worked directly with the raw mineral or with asbestos-containing products on a daily basis. Some of the most prevalent occurrences of asbestos exposure that cause mesothelioma include:

  • Shipyard Workers
  • Construction Workers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Chemical Plant Workers
  • Industrial Workers
  • Insulators
  • Boiler Workers
  • Auto Mechanics

Millions of Veterans Exposed to Asbestos

Veterans With MesotheliomaStudies have shown that the toxic material, asbestos affected millions of veterans as part of their everyday military service. Builders used the deadly material to build military facilities and ships and regular maintenance of military vehicles. In fact, the military users over 300 products with asbestos, because of their fire-retardant properties. Common asbestos-containing products included cement, flooring products, insulation, steam pipes, hot water pipes, gaskets, brakes and clutches and boilers, turbines, and generators.
Asbestos exposure happened to other members of the military simply by being aboard ships. This was standard practice until the 1960s. In fact, over  30% of veterans who served before 1970 were victims of asbestos exposure. Plus, many inadvertently took asbestos home with them on their clothing. This exposed asbestos to their spouses and children.

Medical Care for Veterans with Mesothelioma Is Lacking

Unfortunately, many veterans are not receiving medical care or disability benefits they should. There are around 600,000 VA claims for federal benefits pending with the Veterans Administration. These include more than 123,000 disability claims of vets of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans with asbestos-induced mesothelioma are facing the same obstacles.

Asbestos in Schools

Asbestos SchoolSince manufacturers in the 1950s used asbestos in building materials when contractors renovate those buildings the deadly substance is released into the air. This is what occurred in a New Jersey school district. The Pinelands Regional School District in New Jersey closed last month after a massive roof renovation project disturbed asbestos. Authorities found asbestos in an air sampling. This raises concerns not just in New Jersey but also in school districts across the United States.
The government mandates that all school districts must maintain asbestos management plans for each building. In these plans, a school must include the type and location of any asbestos in the building, regular updates on the condition of the asbestos, and, if applicable, when removal happened. Unfortunately, like so many other programs, funding is inadequate. Because of this, enforcement becomes lax and children and staff are vulnerable.
According to a 2014 report by the Institute of Education Services, the average age of public school buildings in the United States is 44 years. Schools like those in New Jersey are over 50 years old. This means that many schools were built in the 1950s. Asbestos construction material was common. From ceiling and floor tiles to mastic, joint compounds, insulation, and cement, the dangerous material was found in hundreds of products and heralded for its strength and ability to withstand heat and chemicals. Those benefits also came with a hefty price tag. Asbestos can cause mesothelioma, rare cancer.

Asbestos & Other Locations

commercial building constructed before the 1980s in the United States. As a fireproofing material, a worker applied the substance to steel beams and columns during the construction of multistory buildings. Because of its strength, materials even added asbestos to concrete, asphalt, vinyl materials in roof shingles, pipes, siding, wallboard, floor tiles, joint compounds, and adhesives. Its heat-resistant qualities made asbestos the perfect thermal insulation. Another material used is acoustical plaster. Walls and ceilings received this spray mixture. In short, it was the miracle material of the building industry.
There are many locations asbestos can be located even a fire station. South Carolina Attorney General charged both the City Administrator Alan Thomas Ammons and Fire Chief Ralph Walton Cooper III with misconduct in office, conspiracy to violate the Pollution Control Act, and violation of the Pollution Control Act.
The charge stems from allowing the use of the Marion Fire Station between February 1 and May 1 of 2017 even though both knew the building had asbestos. In fact, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) inspected the fire station in October 2016 that discovered the asbestos in floor tiles.
DHEC asked the fire chief and city administrator to close the room in question until they removed the asbestos. However, the fire chief and city administrator allowed fire firefighters, volunteers, and community members to use the room regardless of the dangerous material in the air. The unknowing inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to a number of serious respiratory health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Many don’t notice the symptoms of mesothelioma right away. People brush them off, especially the elderly. The early symptoms often mirror signs of less serious respiratory issues, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema. These symptoms are a common occurrence for seniors.  Then, the symptoms grow more serious. These can be chest pain, slight fatigue, or shortness of breath during physical activity.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

You may not experience cancer symptoms for 20 to 50 years after your first exposure to asbestos. Once asbestos fibers reach the peritoneum and irritate the cells, the peritoneal lining starts to thicken. As cancer develops, the buildup of excess fluid in the abdomen, known as ascites, may occur next. Over time, tumors form and place pressure on the organs.

Pericardial Mesothelioma Symptoms

Most symptoms are caused by the buildup of fluid and the thickening of pericardial layers. The presence of any of these symptoms should be followed by a visit to the doctor with recommended screenings such as an X-ray or CT scan. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially heart-related symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. Screening tests like X-rays, CT scans, and echocardiograms can usually reveal the underlying cause of these health problems.

Financial Assistance

MoneyAll in all, treatment is expensive, and insurance companies may not cover the cost of everything. If you don’t have medical insurance, treatment can be very difficult. If a doctor diagnosed you or a loved one with Mesothelioma, you may need assistance.  It is important to note that companies could have prevented your asbestos-related cancer since these corporations mined, manufactured and sold asbestos products that put profits over the health of you. Our legal system exists to hold these people accountable.

Get Help with a Specialized Complex Litigation Attorney

A Complex Litigation attorney like those found at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is critical when seeking help to cover your asbestos-related expenses. Identifying when and where you were exposed to asbestos is crucial to your lawsuit. Experienced lawyers are familiar with companies that used asbestos and know which job sites had a significant amount of asbestos use. Also, they know which products contained high concentrations of the toxic mineral.
Also, consultations are completely free, confidential, and have no obligation. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Our team of attorneys has been recognized as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Our award-winning staff is also sought after for our knowledge on complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies, and trial tactics.
Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation you are due. Because of this, we have also received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees.  In fact, we will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.

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