Asbestos Exposure & Cancer
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos, which has been used for, literally, many thousands of years as a fire-retardant and insulation material has actually long been linked to sickness and death. Unfortunately, evidence has revealed many of the companies producing asbestos products were well aware of the dangers that asbestos posed but continued to expose workers and laborers to the hazardous asbestos fibers due to greed.
The Federal Government finally stepped in in 1972 through OSHA to begin to regulate the manufacture and sale of asbestos containing products. As more information on asbestos disease which had been hidden by the asbestos industry was uncovered the Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission enforced strict regulations on its use in commercial and industrial products. Asbestos cancer diagnosis, including diagnosis of mesothelioma and lung carcinoma, can be difficult due to the fact that symptoms of the illness can in early stages mimic those of various other, more minor, respiratory complications. Signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or chronic dry cough may lead medical professionals to suspect mesothelioma, particularly if the patient has a known asbestos exposure history.
Analysis tools include CT scans and MRIs for patients where asbestos cancer is suspected. In most cases, these imaging scans will be able to provide a picture of the tumor, but a biopsy will likely be needed to determine a conclusive diagnosis of mesothelioma rather than other lung carcinomas. In cases where pleural or peritoneal effusions, liquid build-up have manifested in the patient, draining these and extracting the fluid through pleurocentesis can allow oncologists to test the fluid for the presence of malignant cells.
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West Virginia Asbestos Claims
In just over a decade, 1,132 West Virginia residents succumbed to Mesothelioma. In that same time, asbestosis claimed an additional 417, taking the total deaths up to 1,549 West Virginia residents between the years of 1999 and 2010. These numbers neglect to account for the scores of workers affected by other asbestos cancers, such as lung cancer, colon cancer, laryngeal cancer, and stomach cancer. Asbestos is killing West Virginia’s workers. Asbestos cases are complex. Often our clients have worked at several different job sites, had a half dozen or more employers, and dealt with products from hundreds of manufacturers. When that client finds out they’ve got an asbestos cancer, there is a lot of leg work required to figure out what asbestos containing products were present, when, and where. This is information we’ve been collecting for decades.
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Asbestos Exposure & Cancer
The only known cause of Mesothelioma is Asbestos Exposure. Asbestos dust and particles that have been inhaled or ingested cause inflammation and disruption of normal cell growth on a microscopic level. This can lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer. Thousands of industrial, commercial and consumer products were manufactured with asbestos from the 1940’s through as late as the 1990’s in some cases. Most of these companies knew the deadly effects that exposing their employees and customers would cause and yet still continued to use the deadly substance due to corporate greed. For this reason many lawsuits have been brought against these companies on behalf of Mesothelioma Victims. Understanding that Mesothelioma is a lethal cancer, this directly means that whoever exposed you or your loved one to Asbestos dust is responsible for their death.
Here at the Asbestos Cancer Organization we have teamed up with a Top Mesothelioma Law firm. The Lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White have been fighting and winning Mesothelioma cases for Mesothelioma clients for over 40 years. We strongly suggest that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma that they seek legal consultation with our partners at Goldberg, Persky & White. They are the best of the best. Their experienced Mesothelioma lawyers will continue fighting Mesothelioma cases for their clients and assist all persons diagnosed with Mesothelioma.
Most asbestos exposure originates from the thousands of products that contained asbestos. People who worked in industries like steel mills, foundries, power plants, chemical plants, refineries, paper mills, glass manufacturing, iron smelting and aluminum manufacturing from the 1940s through the 1990’s were most likely exposed to asbestos dust. A lot of the insulation, refractories and friction products used by these industries during this time period contained asbestos. Construction workers including laborers, insulators, brick layers, electricians, machinists, millwrights, plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, iron workers, boilermakers, carpenters, plasterers, drywall workers and even superintendents, engineers and architects who worked in any form of construction from the 1940’s through the 1990’s could have been exposed to Asbestos dust. There were numerous asbestos containing construction materials sold by the asbestos companies.
The chances of being exposed to asbestos particles in these settings does not decrease even if a worker was never personally handling asbestos containing products. If someone worked in the same area where work with asbestos products was conducted they also inhaled the deadly toxins. Most companies that manufactured or sold asbestos products did not provide warnings to their customers, many workers unwittingly introduced asbestos dust into their homes on their contaminated work clothing, subjecting their wives and even their children to enough asbestos exposure to cause mesothelioma. It has recently been found that some common talcum powders, including baby powder, shaving powders, cosmetic and hygiene talcum powders, contained dangerous levels of asbestos sufficient to cause mesothelioma.
For over Forty years, the lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. have been winning mesothelioma cases on behalf of their clients. As a firm, we have generated nearly $1 Billion in compensation for Mesothelioma victims. We are the #1 mesothelioma law firm in West Virginia. Click the button below and read about how the lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. have been helping Mesothelioma victims for years.
Common Types of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos was utilized across all branches of the military for many years. Navy veterans were exposed to high levels of asbestos while serving on ships (attack aircraft carrier, destroyers, submarines, battleships, and so on) in the marine fleet as well as in naval shipyards throughout the nation. Army veterans were exposed to asbestos in structures on military installations and while dealing with friction products on military vehicles. Air Force veterans were exposed while dealing with maintenance of military aircraft. Marine Corps veterans that stationed at sea aboard Navy ships were exposed to asbestos. All veterans exposed to asbestos have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. Statistically over 50% of asbestos disease victims in West Virginia served in the US Armed Forces.
Commercial and Industrial Exposure
Many workers and maintenance contractors at industrial and commercial business sites were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos on the job. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and the primary reason for mesothelioma cancer. The most common jobsites where asbestos direct exposure happened in West Virginia includes oil refineries, power plants, steel mills and chemical plants, automotive parts foundries, paper mills, hospitals, and college dormitories to name a few. They all have “high heat” environments where using heat resistant materials were used on structures such as steam lines, boilers, furnaces, paper machines, cupolas, turbines or other equipment. Even the protective clothes that employees were required to use in designated locations (i.e. fire-proof gloves and aprons) contained asbestos. Today, although making use of asbestos has been prohibited in the United States, lots of existing industrial and commercial business structures may still contain asbestos. It is necessary that appropriate safety precautions be taken, where necessary, to prevent continued harmful exposure to reduce the threat of mesothelioma cancer in the years to come.
Commercial Product Exposure
Do-it-yourself home remodeling lovers, as well as those who worked in the building trades, might have been exposed to asbestos while working with popular structural and construction items. A lot of these products were made with asbestos through the late 1970’s. They consisted of insulation, roofing material, siding, joint compound, ceiling tiles, flooring and more. Sadly when any of these items were cut, sawed, mixed or sanded, asbestos fibers were released into the air. In the majority of cases, those working with the items did not use appropriate safety precautions because asbestos businesses withheld info about the health hazards of asbestos for many years. Today, as a result, building and construction workers and do-it-yourselfers are at risk for developing mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.
Second Hand Exposure
Direct, on-the-job asbestos exposure did not affect American employees alone. Members of their family are also at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease as a result of second hand asbestos exposure. This type of exposure happened when workers brought asbestos fibers homes and vehicles on their hair, clothes or shoes at the end of the work day. Those responsible for laundering their work clothing, day in and day out, were most frequently impacted, however even young children who spent time with their contaminated mom or dad prior to the time they had a chance to “clean up” from work were unconsciously placed at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
Talc is a naturally occurring silicate mineral most typically utilized in cosmetics and toiletries. Talc deposits are frequently contaminated with asbestos deposits. Due to this, some talc deposits are polluted with asbestos fibers triggering talc miners to be unwittingly exposed to asbestos. While talc miners have the greatest threat of asbestos direct exposure, it has been discovered that some consumer products, specifically talcum powder and more recently, children’s art supplies, have actually contained asbestos. Today, items utilizing talc are evaluated for asbestos, but that was not always the case. Due to the fact that mesothelioma cancer has a long latency period, miners and consumers are being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer years later, often 40 years or more, from their initial exposure to the asbestos-containing products.
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Types of Mesothelioma
Pericardial mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer that develops in the lining around the heart (the pericardium). Caused by asbestos, pericardial mesothelioma has an extremely poor prognosis, with most cases being diagnosed only after an autopsy.
Pleural mesothelioma is an extremely uncommon cancer brought about by asbestos. Mesothelioma tumors form within the pleura, a slim membrane layer of cells which line the lungs and chest wall.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is generally a cancer located within the peritoneum, a thin membrane encompassing the abdomen. Caused by exposure to asbestos, peritoneal mesothelioma is exceptionally rare, and the prognosis is normally poor.
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What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a sudden and devastating form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This terminal disease occurs unexpectedly usually 20 to 40 or more years after asbestos exposure. Anyone can be exposed from everyday locations, such as homes, workplaces, schools, and even by direct contact with someone who has asbestos dust contamination on their clothes. Wives and children of workers that were exposed to asbestos have also been shown to be at risk of this disease as a result of personal exposure to asbestos dust on their loved one’s clothing. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there is no evidence of any asbestos exposure level that is considered safe. In conclusion, there is not a certain level of exposure that can decrease your chance of developing the disease. All levels will may lead to this unfortunate disease.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing symptoms, seek out a mesothelioma experienced physician as soon as possible in order to receive proper treatment. If diagnosis is early you will have access to a wider array of treatment opportunities with more promising results. Additional information and statistics about mesothelioma can be found within this section
Products, Places, & People needed for your West Virginia Asbestos Claim
Mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other cancers caused by exposure to asbestos are naturally more common in certain industries, certain occupations, and even certain locations. When you’ve been helping the thousands of people injured by asbestos that GPW has, for as long as we have, the number of industries, job sites, and companies with which you’re familiar grows quite big. This familiarity is a very helpful thing for those who subsequently get mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer, because asbestos claims are complex. A single case on behalf of one injured person can involve more than 5,000 documents. People change jobs, workplaces, move across state, or out of state altogether. Piecing together all the places a person worked, the occupations they held, and products they worked each step of the way with is crucial to identifying their asbestos exposure history.
Burden of Proof
Despite the fact that mesothelioma’s only known cause is asbestos exposure, the burden of proof is placed on the injured party. Where you worked, what products and materials you worked with, and how you were exposed are all up to the plaintiff to prove. Lung cancer and other asbestos-caused cancer cases are that much more challenging. Decades may have passed between your exposure and diagnosis, yet you’re being asked to remember seemingly insignificant details of your employment history. What color were the bags of insulating material you used? Where in the plant did you spend most of your time? Who remembers you working in that department?
We can assist you with your West Virginia asbestos claim. Over the past three decades representing West Virginia asbestos disease victims GPW has accumulated thousands of pages of corporate documentation regarding asbestos product use, a vast knowledge of asbestos products, hundreds of depositions, and an extensive knowledge of job sites throughout West Virginia. For a client who couldn’t recall anything beyond the green design on the bag of asbestos material that were delivered to his plant, we were able to locate a picture of the bag and shipping invoices indicating their delivery to the worksite.
To help you understand just a small portion of the information and resources we have accumulated from the thousands of West Virgnia asbestos claims we’ve filed, we’ve listed many of the West Virginia job sites our past and current clients worked at on these pages. You can view a list of companies that have established asbestos bankruptcy trusts to pay appropriate asbestos victim claims. Whether you were exposed to one or many of these companies asbestos products we can help you obtain compensation from those responsible who had little regard for the health and safety of millions of workers and their families. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones with your West Virginia asbestos claim.
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