April 1-7 is Asbestos Awareness Week
April 1-7 is asbestos awareness week. Asbestos is a dangerous group of six silicate minerals that are made up of microscopic fibers. Once inhaled, these fibers stay in the body leading to cancers of the mesothelium, lungs, esophagus, larynx, colon, and esophagus. People who worked in steel mills, construction, railroads, oil refineries, and others were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. Many people didn’t know the dangers of asbestos or even that they were exposed to it until years later when they are diagnosed with an asbestos related cancer. Products that contain asbestos include asphalt, brake pads, gaskets, roofing materials, packing, rubber, textiles, clothing, insulation, some cigarettes, pumps, and others.
There are six types of asbestos that fall into two categories. Chrysotile asbestos is the sole member of the serpentine family. Its fibers are curly and it is considered the least dangerous type, but it is still very dangerous. It is also the most commonly used form of asbestos with 95 percent all asbestos used being chrysotile. Amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite are all amphibole asbestos. Amphibole asbestos fibers are straight, making them dangerous because it can be easier for the asbestos to be lodged in human tissue after entering the body.
Asbestos causes different cancers but the most deadly cancer is mesothelioma. It is a cancer of the mesothelium which surrounds different organs including the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles. When people inhale or ingest asbestos fibers, they become lodged in human tissue. The fibers are so strong that once they become lodged in tissue the body cannot break them down and remove them. Some can be removed, but the body is not able to remove all of them. The fibers then create DNA changes in cells, turning them into cancer cells where they grow uncontrollably.
Were you exposed to asbestos? You could be entitled to compensation if you have lung cancer, mesothelioma, or another asbestos caused cancer. Contact us today by calling 412-471-3980 or by filling out our contact form and one of our staff members will get back to you as soon as possible. Even if you don’t know if you were exposed and have one of the cancers listed above, still contact us because our attorneys can review your case and determine if there was a potential workplace exposure based on your work history.