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Were You Exposed To Asbestos? If So, You Have Rights.

Asbestos fibers such as those found in insulation are very dangerous. Inhaling even a small amount can lead to serious illness, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is a cancer involving the mesothelium, a tissue that lines the internal organs. Long-term exposure increases the likelihood of toxic effects. Even secondhand exposure can be damaging. For example, a worker may carry asbestos fibers home on their clothes. When the family runs a load of laundry together, asbestos fibers then spread to the clothes of everyone in the family and puts them at risk of disease as well.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a type of long, thin mineral. There are six minerals that are considered to be asbestos, and these are grouped under two classifications: serpentine and amphibole. While the serpentine variety is thought to be less dangerous, both classes are known carcinogens, meaning they cause cancer.

Illnesses Caused By Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos can be severely damaging after only a few months of exposure. However, the latency time – the time between exposure and symptom emergence – is usually at least 15 years and may take as many as 30 to 40 years. Serious conditions related to long-term asbestos exposure can cause coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss and other symptoms, and may eventually prove fatal. They include:

  • Lung cancer, uncontrolled growth of the cells of the lung, has a relatively low survival rate compared to other common cancers, particularly once it has spread to other areas of the body.
  • Mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the lining of the internal organs (most often the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), is often fatal within a year or two of diagnosis.
  • Asbestosis is a disease caused by lung tissue scarring as a result of asbestos exposure.

Is This My Fault?

No. Even if you had other factors that may have put you at risk, exposure to asbestos is a catalyst that would have accelerated those factors, intensifying the damage. For example, while smoking has been linked to lung cancer, there is no causal link between smoking and mesothelioma. Exposure to asbestos could, however, compound your likelihood of getting cancer as a result of smoking.

Desirable Properties, Dangerous Consequences

Asbestos resists heat, fire, chemical and electric damage, and therefore it used to be a popular material used in building and manufacturing. Asbestos has been mixed with cement for fireproofing buildings, for example, and has also been used with wiring for hotplates or ovens because of its ability to resist heat. Asbestos has been found in countless materials, including:

  • Plaster
  • Caulk
  • Brake pads and shoes
  • Drywall, joint compound
  • Clutch plates
  • Fire blankets
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation (thermal pipe, block)
  • Vinyl tiles
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Roofing materials (tars, felt, shingles)
  • Stage curtains
  • Dental cast linings
  • Drilling fluid additives
  • Siding
  • HVAC flexible duct connectors
  • Mud and texture coats
  • Fireproofing
  • Fire doors (interior)
  • Fireproof clothing for firefighters
  • Wallboard/siding
  • HVAC flexible duct connectors
  • Wallboard/siding
  • Wine
  • Asbestos-cement “Transite” products
  • Dental cast linings
  • Filters for removing particulates from chemicals and liquids

Manufacturers of products containing asbestos knew for decades that the material was dangerous, and yet they did nothing. Their inaction put at risk not only the workers but also the final consumers of the products they made. 

Who Has Been Exposed?

Asbestos used to be ubiquitous in a wide range of industries, and many types of workers have typically been at risk for exposure. A partial list of these workers includes:

  • Construction workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Roofers
  • HVAC workers
  • Factory workers
  • Auto mechanics
  • Aircraft mechanics
  • Boiler mechanics
  • Ironworkers
  • Machinists
  • Paper mill workers
  • Maintenance workers
  • Oil refinery workers
  • Electricians
  • Railroad workers
  • Carpenters
  • Maritime mechanics
  • Plumbers
  • Pipefitters
  • Sheet metal workers

Indeed, there are few trades where workers would not bear some risk for asbestos exposure. The companies that manufactured the products used in these trades and work sites were not naive about the risks. They knew their products were dangerous. They simply didn’t care. At the very least, they put profits over safety. That’s why you need a lawyer to fight for you now.

We Can Help

At Blake Jones Law Firm LLC, in New Orleans, our attorneys pursue compensation for individuals who have developed health problems from exposure to asbestos. Nearly four decades of experience have given us the knowledge and expertise needed to seek justice and get the compensation you and your family deserve.

Contact Us Today

Our lawyers at Blake Jones Law Firm LLC can help put you and your family on the path to recovering a settlement award. If you believe to suffer an injury or a health condition due to asbestos exposure, send us a message. We offer flexible appointments, including on weekends. Call us at 504-323-4314 or 888-525-4361 toll free, or send us an email to schedule your consultation today.