There are a lot of misconceptions out there about asbestos and mesothelioma. Primarily, how much exposure is actually going to cause damage, and what kind of exposure is bad for me? To answer these questions we need to know how asbestos leads to mesothelioma, and then we can answer if there is a safe level of exposure or not.
How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma
If you are not already familiar with what mesothelioma is, it is important that you read about it. This deadly form of cancer is almost always caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, and there is no cure. The only recourse that those suffering from this deadly cancer have is that they may be able to collect compensation from the company that put them at risk.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, asbestos was used heavily in the construction of buildings. This naturally occurring mineral is highly heat and flame resistant, and provides amazing insulation. It can be incorporated into different building materials and textiles in order to provide the insulation and ire resistance no matter where it is used.
However, the mineral is also a known human carcinogen. Those who worked around the mineral, and were exposed on a daily basis for many years, have a high risk of developing mesothelioma (or asbestosis or lung cancer). Despite its good characteristics, asbestos is deadly. And those products in which it is incorporated tend to break down over time. If the asbestos particles are disturbed they become airborne. Airborne particles are easily inhaled where they become lodged in the lungs causing irritation and inflammation. Over time this inflammation makes it easier for cancer cells to grow and spread.
Is There a Safe Level of Asbestos Exposure?
The answer to this question is tricky, because there is no clear answer. Small amounts of exposure will not likely harm you, but they could. And not all asbestos products are created equal. For instance, many houses still have asbestos siding on them. If they are removed without breakage, the asbestos stays locked up in the cement-like fibers and will not become airborne and are not able to be inhaled. However, cracks and splits can cause some fibers to be released, and theoretically one exposure could lead to mesothelioma.
So is there a safe level of exposure? The short answer is no, there is not. However, if proper precautions are taken, the risk of developing mesothelioma is rather low. But keep in mind that this disease can take 30 or more years to manifest itself.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you worked for a company, mostly in a factory setting, and you have developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be able to collect compensation. Look at it this way: if you broke your leg on the job, workers compensation insurance would pay for your medical bills. If you developed mesothelioma as a result of an injury on the job (even though you didnt know you were being injured at the time), then the company should pay for your medical bills as a result of the exposure. In order to get the company to pay, you will need to find an asbestos attorney, which is a personal injury lawyer that specializes in asbestos claims, to negotiate your settlement.