The Mesothelioma Center recently reported that Australia has tightened its restrictions on using asbestos after research showed that asbestos mixed into concrete can be lethal. It also reported that West Virginia has emerged as a hotbed for asbestos-related lawsuits.
Our mesothelioma lawyers represent clients and families dealing with this deadly diagnosis as a result of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a natural mineral that was used for decades in construction for insulation purposes, but also to coat pipes and brake pads and other consumer products because of its resistance to fire.
But about 40 years ago, researchers began discovering that people who were exposed to asbestos were getting sick. Further research found that exposure for a short period of time can still cause mesothelioma some 30 or 40 years later.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that has been proven to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Sadly, it is fatal 100 percent of the time.
It can linger in a person’s body for years or decades before a person is properly diagnosed with mesothelioma. This is because thought the asbestos forms tumors, typically on the lining of major organs such as the heart, lungs and abdomen, the symptoms are quite common. Older people who may have worked in a field 30 years ago where they were exposed to asbestos begin coughing, having trouble breathing or feel chest pain, which are common symptoms for a variety of medical problems.
Some victims ignore the symptoms or chalk them up to other things, which allows the cancer to spread. Because of where mesothelioma spreads, treatment options are limited.
But the more people can hear about this form of cancer, the better. It has gotten more attention in recent years and donors are spending money for researchers to study its effects and how to potentially discover it sooner or find a cure.
According to the article, officials have found that natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding and tornadoes can put people at risk for asbestos exposure. When buildings containing asbestos collapse, they can spread asbestos throughout the air.
This happened during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. Studies have found that many firefighters, police officers and rescue workers were exposed to asbestos and other carcinogens in the aftermath. The threat of natural disasters has caused Australia officials to work to clear the country of asbestos by 2030.
Some bad news is that thalidomide, a drug used to treat people suffering from other forms of cancer, has been found by researchers to not be effective for mesothelioma patients. The Netherlands Cancer Research report came out recently.
The article also states that West Virginia has become an active state for lawsuits. A report found that asbestos claims statewide have been near the top of the list of examples of why medical and business professionals want tort reform in order to limit how much mesothelioma victims can get in jury verdicts.
That state has been known to have sympathetic juries, likely because there
are many mines, steel mills, factories, oil refineries and other businesses
where workers were exposed to asbestos.
The Ferraro Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services, including mesothelioma legal help. Call (888) 554-2030 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
More Blog Entries:
Obama Executive Order Could Benefit Mesothelioma Patients: November 8, 2011
Breath Test Technology Could Lead to Mesothelioma Diagnosis After Asbestos Exposure: October 31, 2011