1. What is asbestos?
    Asbestos is a mineral that consists of very fine microscopic, needle-shaped fibers. It is composed of silicon, oxygen, hydrogen and other metal ions. Asbestos fibers are strong, flexible, resist heat, acids, and friction and are virtually indestructible. Asbestos has been used in older plastics, paper products and floor tiles. In most cases, asbestos fibers are mixed with a material that binds them together producing asbestos containing material. Many industrial products are made with asbestos materials including sealants, thermal insulation, fireproofing acoustical texture products, textile and cloth products (asbestos gloves, blanket etc.), Gaskets and packing, Ceiling tiles, wallboard, siding and roofing and more.
  2. What diseases are caused by asbestos exposure?
    Four diseases have been linked to asbestos exposure: 1. Asbestosis, a serious, chronic, non malignant fibrous hardening and scarring of the lungs; 2. pleural plaque and thickening, scarring of the lining of the lung; 3. lung cancer; and 4. Mesothelioma, a cancer of the thin membranes lining the thoracic and abdominal cavities and surrounding internal organs.
  3. Who are the victims of asbestos exposure?
    Even though the average asbestos levels in buildings today seem to be very low, an estimated 3 million employees in construction and general industry face significant asbestos exposure on the job. The heaviest exposures are in construction, primarily during the removal of asbestos during renovation or demolition. Workers are also likely to be exposed during the manufacturing of asbestos products like textiles, insulation, automotive brake and clutch work. Asbestos-related illness have also occurred in shipyard workers, school custodians and even movie set workers.
  4. How long does it take for asbestos symptoms to affect an exposed person?
    It varies with each individual. Asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases are often not seen for 15 and up to 40 plus years after initial exposure. Because of the latent nature of these diseases, you should have regular screening tests. Asbestos-related diseases are progressive, so when a respiratory problem arises and you have had potential exposure to asbestos, you should immediately be tested.
  5. What are the symptoms of asbestos exposure?
    The most common symptoms of asbestos exposure are coughing, coughing blood, shortness of breath, chest pain and weight loss. The detectable symptoms of asbestos exposure can appear up to 25 years after exposure, which is why annual asbestos detection tests are recommended.
  6. What medical problems can arise from asbestos exposure?
    Deep breathing difficulties, chest infections, gastro-intestinal problems, and asbestosis. The more serious diseases are lung cancer and Mesothelioma.
  7. What should I do if I think I have been exposed to asbestos?
    Get tested. I recommend that you consult your primary care physician for an immediate x-ray or CT referral.
  8. When should I contact a lawyer about an asbestos-related lawsuit?
    If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer, or Mesothelioma you should contact a lawyer at once to learn of your rights to file a legal claim for damages. A lawyer will make sure you follow the necessary steps and make assurances that the statute of limitations does not expire.

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