Health risks associated with asbestos exposure
This hazardous toxic substance is comprised of tiny fibers that when inhaled become lodged in the protective lining of certain body organs and cause a variety of grave medical problems, such as tumors, pulmonary problems and irritation of tissues of the body. While asbestos is no longer used as a construction material, it is present in many existing structures that are renovated, upgraded or expanded.
The most serious consequence of being exposed to products that incorporate asbestos is the risk of developing mesothelioma. Asbestos is essentially the only cause of mesothelioma so developing the disease provides proof of exposure to this toxic substance. The disease most frequently develops in the lining of the lungs, which is known as peritoneal mesothelioma or lining of the abdomen, referred to as peritoneal mesothelioma. Because this form of cancer generally is not diagnosed until it is advanced, it is almost always regarded as incurable so treatment focuses on keeping those afflicted comfortable according to the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to mesothelioma, there are other serious health risks that face those that work on construction projects and face exposure to asbestos. While not a form of cancer, asbestosis involves the accumulation of scar tissue on the lungs from irritation caused by asbestos fibers. Lung cancer may also be caused by occupational exposure to asbestos in a wide range of construction jobs including, but not limited to the following:
- Installation of fireproofing materials
- HVAC installation and repair
- Insulation work
- Drywall installers
- Stone masons
Anyone involved in the construction trades faces a complex litigation process when seeking damages, because decades often pass between exposure to asbestos and a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Litigation of mesothelioma cases requires careful research to identify all available defendants that are still in business with the means to satisfy a judgment. These parties may include the contractors, property owner, sub-contractors, asbestos manufacturers and others.