The United States Congress has set Sept. 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, which is a good step in making sure Americans know about this fatal cancer.
It sometimes takes an act of Congress to make people aware of the dangers of mesothelioma and the chief causes of asbestos exposure in Florida or elsewhere in the United States. As our Florida Mesothelioma Lawyers have pointed out during the summer, many cities and states imported asbestos to be processed in plants, thus exposing countless people to this deadly material.
After exposure to asbestos, a victim can go about their life for decades before forming tumors lead to chest pain, fluid in the lungs and coughing. These symptoms often lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma, which is rare, incurable and deadly. Once diagnosed, the median lifespan is 12 months.
And with the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 on our minds, it is relevant to point out a recent Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog that commented on a study’s findings that firefighters who responded to Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks were more likely to get cancer than those who didn’t.
Because of the toxins, including asbestos, that were released into the air following the collapse of the World Trade Towers, firefighters were exposed to extremely high quantities. This exposure led to firefighters who responded being 19 percent more likely to get cancer than those who didn’t — and that was only over an eight-year period following the attacks.
Asbestos exposure can lead to a diagnosis decades later, so there’s no telling how many firefighters, police officers, construction workers and others may have been put at risk.
It’s not just these people who could succumb to mesothelioma after asbestos exposure. Those living in old buildings may be exposed as piping, boiler equipment and insulation may have been coated with asbestos, putting occupants at risk. Older factories may have been made the same way and many consumer products, such as brake pads, floor and ceiling tiles and peat moss all may have contained asbestos.
While the United States has never officially banned asbestos from use, companies rarely use it anymore because of the documented effects on a person’s health. It was used largely for its fire-resistant features and was used extensively by the U.S. Navy in ships and on shipyards.
So, as you can see, people from all walks of life and in any situation can be exposed to asbestos and suffer from illnesses, including mesothelioma. And given the relatively short life span after diagnosis, mesothelioma can be a devastating form of cancer. There is no cure and it can lead to a painful end. Ensuring that companies that used asbestos despite knowing the side-effects are held accountable is vital for families seeking justice.
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.