Posted on May 29, 2009 in Personal Injury
Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring, fibrous silicate minerals mined for their useful properties such as thermal insulations, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when asbestos- containing materials are damaged or disturbed. Asbestos is known to have toxicity. Inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis (also called pneumoconiosis), calcifications in the lung, pleural plaques and a rare condition called pnuemothorax.
Asbestos exposure becomes a health concern when high concentrations of asbestos fibers are inhaled over a long time period. People who become ill from asbestos are almost always those who are exposed on a day-to-day basis in a job where they work directly with the material. As a person’s exposure to fibers increases, either by breathing more fibers or by breathing fibers for longer times, that person’s risk of the disease also increases. Disease is very unlikely to result from a single, high-level exposure or from a short period of exposure to lower levels.
As noted above, exposure to asbestos has proven to result in a wide range of health conditions, including mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs, hear, or abdomen. This rare form of cancer is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Due to a long latency period, mesothelioma symptoms (shortness of breath, severe cough, chest pain) may not appear for 20 or more years. For this reason, mesothelioma is often diagnosed in later stages of development, which severely complicates treatment and chances of survival. Most respirable asbestos fibers are invisible to the unaided human eye because of their miniscule size. Asbestos fibers are small and light and easily become airborne. Read the remaining article by visting the Healy Law Firm’s website or click here.
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