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Asbestos exposure is known to cause mesothelioma, but there are many pervasive myths and misconceptions about this often fatal disease. At The Ferraro Law Firm, we specialize in fighting on behalf of those who have sustained injuries after asbestos exposure, and we’ve heard many of these misconceptions first-hand. In the post below, we’ll debunk 7 of the most common ones our Florida mesothelioma team has heard over the years.
The 7 Most Common Mesothelioma Myths
Myth #1: Mesothelioma only affects elderly men.
This is false, but the observation that older men tend to get mesothelioma more frequently is rooted in fact. More than 75% of all mesothelioma fatalities are middle-aged or older men.
Myth #2: Short-term asbestos exposure can’t cause mesothelioma.
Many believe only long-term exposure to asbestos can give you mesothelioma, but unfortunately, this is not the case. While mesothelioma does have a very long latency period, the EPA has been clear that no asbestos exposure is safe for humans. Each time an individual is exposed to the substance, there is a chance they will eventually develop mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other related diseases.
Myth #3: Mesothelioma can only affect your lungs.
False. Mesothelioma can affect multiple organs and body parts, including (but not limited to): the abdomen, the lungs, the heart, and the testicles. There are also multiple forms of mesothelioma, each with their own varied symptoms, making it more difficult to diagnose.
Myth #4: Asbestos needs to be removed immediately if detected.
Asbestos removal is exceptionally dangerous, and only qualified professionals should attempt the procedure. If you discover asbestos in your workplace or residence, do not try to get rid of it on your own. You will probably be exposed to asbestos during the removal process, increasing your risk of mesothelioma far more than if you had waited for help to arrive.
Myth #5: The United States has banned asbestos.
Sadly, the United States has not fully banned this toxic material. In fact, America actually has some of the lightest asbestos regulations world-wide. In June 2018, the EPA announced a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) regulating the uses of asbestos and requiring any new uses to be approved by the EPA. This still does not constitute a full ban, and as a consequence, there could be new asbestos products in coming years.
Myth #6: Mesothelioma is contagious.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer, so there is no way to contract it from another person. If you know someone affected by mesothelioma, the best thing you can do is treat them with the same courtesy and respect you would give to anyone facing a life-threatening condition.
Myth #7: Mesothelioma is rare, so I don’t need to worry about asbestos.
Mesothelioma is technically a rare disease, but there is an underlying fallacy here that must be addressed. Although mesothelioma cases only comprise a fraction of all cancer cases, the EWG Action Fund has estimated that asbestos kills up to 15,000 people a year in the United States alone. Even if mesothelioma itself is rare, asbestos still causes widespread health problems and even death, and should be a serious cause for concern.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
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