As we reported in our first blog on the basics of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, this particularly deadly form of cancer has been linked almost exclusively to asbestos exposure.
Asbestos is a mineral that was first used in the late 1800s in building materials. It exploded in popularity during World War II when thousands of employees were exposed in shipyards, mills and the construction industry. Since then asbestos has been used in thousands of diverse products, including automotive brakes, clutches, drywall materials, ceiling and floor tiles, gaskets, packing. A mesothelioma injury lawyer should be contacted as early as possible if a loved one is diagnosed — or if they are diagnosed with other forms of cancer after a history of asbestos exposure.
Even today, the official position of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is that even permissible exposure limits under U.S. regulations are not enough to prevent or protect against asbestos-related cancers, including mesothelioma. Today, safety advocates believe even very low levels of exposure to asbestos dust or particles may be enough to cause cancer.
And the exposure event has been documented to be as short as 1-3 months. Meanwhile, the incubation period for the disease is almost always at least 15 years and reaches its peak at between 30 and 40 years. Consequently, many patients who were exposed as young adults may not be diagnosed with mesothelioma until they are retired. This lag time has resulted in an unknown number of patients each year who never make a connection between this deadly disease and their exposure to asbestos.
In many cases a company that permitted an employee to be exposed to asbestos either knew, or should have known, of the risks. Such risks have been known since the early 1900s. Yet it continued to be used in many products, including insulation, floor products, roof shingles, cement, brake linings and textiles.
Tragically, an exposed employee brings the cancer risk home on their clothing and hair. Family members and those living with an asbestos exposure victim have been shown to have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. Additionally, many buildings were constructed using asbestos materials, leaving occupants and visitors at risk of exposure when materials are disturbed.
The Ferraro Law Firm represents victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.