Exposure to asbestos causes a number of deadly conditions, including mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer infecting the lining of the lungs and chest cavity. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become lodged in the chest cavity and damage the surrounding tissue, eventually leading to tumor development. Asbestos is used for many purposes, and despite heavy regulation, it is still found in some consumer products. Manufacturers argue that some types of asbestos are safe to encounter, but a recent study by the National Cancer Institute disputes this claim.
The term asbestos refers to a group of six naturally occurring compounds containing silicon and oxygen atoms. There are two main types of asbestos: serpentine asbestos, the more versatile type with fibers that are long and curly; and amphibole asbestos, with fibers that are straight, needle-like, and brittle. Chrysotile, a serpentine compound, is the most commonly used form of asbestos.
Asbestos was used for many commercial uses for much of the 20th century. It is durable, heat- and flame-resistant, and inexpensive, making it an ideal additive for construction materials such as insulation, cement, drywall, adhesives, ceiling and floor tiles, paints, and other products. Asbestos is also found in consumer products such as crayons, automotive parts, and garden products. The link between asbestos and mesothelioma has been well established since the 1970s, but although its use has been heavily regulated, those regulations fall short of an outright ban on the substance; asbestos can also still be found in older buildings and ships.
Study Finds Increased Cancer Risk with Amphibole Asbestos
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute examined data from 508 workers, 176 of whom were diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. They compared the asbestos exposure history of the mesothelioma patients with those who were not diagnosed with the disease, noting which types of asbestos workers may have come in contact. As expected, those exposed to chrysotile asbestos showed an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with mesothelioma; they also found that exposure to multiple types of asbestos made that risk even higher, suggesting that amphibole asbestos also contributes to the development of mesothelioma and contradicting the claims of asbestos companies that some varieties of the substance are safe.
Many of the mesothelioma patients in the study were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 27 million workers were exposed to asbestos in the workplace between 1940 and 1979. There are many industries that continue to face a high exposure risk, including construction, manufacturing, maritime, aviation and automotive, boiler workers, firefighters, and other businesses. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, so workers who were exposed decades ago may still be diagnosed with the disease.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Asbestos Exposure Victims
There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and no safe type of asbestos. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease, the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. We will thoroughly review the details of your case to determine who is at fault for your asbestos exposure and hold them accountable. Call us at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.