Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Asbestos Exposure is the Primary Cause of Mesothelioma in the United States. Learn about Your Legal Rights if You or a Loved One May Have Been Exposed.
Until 1978, many building materials used in the United States were made with asbestos. A type of silicate mineral, asbestos is heat-resistant and works well as an electrical insulator, and this makes it a highly practical material in a broad range of applications.
But, by the 1970s, the link between asbestos and mesothelioma had already been well-established, and this eventually triggered the federal ban. While the ban is not absolute (certain asbestos-containing products are still sold in the U.S. today), asbestos has largely been phased out in building applications, and companies have incurred billions of dollars in liability for subjecting workers, tenants, and others to dangerous asbestos exposure.
What are the Risks for Asbestos Exposure?
Since asbestos-containing products are no longer used in the United States, the primary risk for asbestos exposure today comes from occupying buildings constructed prior to 1978. Residents, office and warehouse workers, and construction workers hired to repair and renovate older buildings are all potentially at risk.
However, as mesothelioma can develop at any time following asbestos exposure, older Americans who worked on construction sites in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s could still be at risk as well. Asbestos exposure creates a risk that truly lasts a lifetime, and symptoms consistent with mesothelioma should not be ignored.
What Types of Building Materials Can Contain Asbestos?
Due to its heat resistance and insulating properties, asbestos was commonly used in many types of building materials prior to 1978. The following are all examples of building materials that may contain asbestos in homes, offices, warehouses, and other buildings constructed prior to the federal ban:
- Acoustic coatings
- Ceiling tiles
- Chimneys and flues
- Floor tiles
- Gypsum board
- Insulation for air handlers, air ducts, and furnaces
- Joint compound
- Mastics and other tile adhesives
- Pipe insulation
- Roof shingles and other roofing materials
- Styrofoam panels
- Textured paints
Certain types of products present a greater risk for asbestos exposure than others. Asbestos exposure results from the inhalation of particulates, so products that release more particulates are more likely to lead to exposure and the risk for mesothelioma. Certain types of activities are also more likely to lead to exposure. For example, tearing up old asbestos flooring tiles will generally create a greater exposure risk than simply being in the presence of asbestos-containing building materials. That said, anyone who has been exposed to asbestos is potentially at risk for developing mesothelioma.
What Should You Do if You are Concerned about Asbestos Exposure?
If you believe that you or a loved one may have been exposed to asbestos, it will be important to carefully monitor for symptoms, and you should seek medical attention if you have any concerns about mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, and diagnosing it early can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment.
In addition to seeking medical treatment, it is also important that you consult with an attorney about your legal rights. Many companies were well aware of the cancer risks associated with asbestos exposure prior to the federal ban, and companies today have a legal responsibility to remediate exposure risks when they are identified. If a company should have done more to protect you or your loved one from asbestos exposure, that company could be liable for your family’s medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you have any reason to be concerned about possible asbestos exposure, our mesothelioma attorneys recommend:
- Seek medical attention promptly. First and foremost, you should seek a medical diagnosis for yourself or your loved one. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can greatly reduce the risks associated with mesothelioma.
- Take notes about your concerns. Where do you believe that you or your loved one may have been exposed to asbestos? When did the potential exposure occur? Writing down as many details as you can remember will be helpful for speaking with your attorney.
- Schedule a free consultation. In order to protect your legal rights and make sure you are able to recover the financial compensation you and your family deserve, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Speak with an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney for Free
At Oberheiden Law, our experienced mesothelioma attorneys help individuals and families nationwide recover financial compensation for asbestos exposure. If you would like to speak with an attorney about filing a claim, call 866-376-4871 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.