Asbestos is the name given to a group of fibers that are resistant to heat, fire and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. Used in the US since the late 1800’s, it came into use primarily after World War II. As such, it was used widely in many industries, factories, building construction, use on boilers and pipes and has been included in a number of products.
The use of asbestos was widespread and the associated dangers of asbestos were not early recognized. Tiny particles of asbestos, when airborne and breathed in, get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. The problem with it is that it is classified as known human carcinogen by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, the EPA and other organizations.
Asbestos exposure is commonly seen in lung cancer diagnosis under the heading of mesothelioma, the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. The National Cancer Institute has published fact sheet indicating that several factors are involved in how exposure affects and individual. They are dose, duration, size, shape and chemical make up and source of exposure.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, you may suffer from shortness of breath, persistent cough, blood in sputum, pain in chest, difficulty swallowing and weight loss. You should follow up with your doctor for an evaluation and diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure, you should contact an attorney immediately. You may be entitled to make a legal claims against the manufacturer and/or distributor of the harmful product.