Illnesses from Asbestos in Dallas?
Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most commonly associated with asbestos exposure, but there are also many other illnesses that result from prolonged exposure to this toxic substance. Asbestos is a chemical compound that was once highly sought after because it could be used in a number of different capacities and it is extremely affordable. Asbestos was once used heavily in the manufacturing industry, and was used in housing construction, vehicles and insulation.
Its toxicity was warned against in the early 1900s, but it was not phased out on a grand scale in the United States until the late 1980s after a ban from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Both the EPA and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have set “safety limits” on asbestos particles in drinking water, occupational fields and more. Still, thousands have been exposed to a dangerous amount of asbestos and are now suffering the health repercussions.
One of the other illnesses that asbestos can cause is asbestosis. This condition causes fibrosis and inflammation of the lungs. Those who contract this disease, most commonly, are those who have been exposed to asbestos fibers for long periods of time. Prolonged exposure typically results from exposure at the workplace, making asbestosis primarily an occupational illness. Many experts believe that those who are most at risk for developing this lung condition are those who work in industries such as mining, manufacturing or asbestos removal. Those who suffer from asbestos-related diseases unfortunately do not show symptoms until their condition is in much later stages. This is referred to as a long latency period. Signs of asbestosis include respiratory failure and dyspnea (shortness of breath or difficulty breathing).
Asbestos warts are sometimes referred to as asbestos corns. This is a type of skin irritation due to skin being exposed to asbestos fibers. The mode of exposure differs from asbestos lung diseases, in that the asbestos fibers are not inhaled, but penetrate the skin. Asbestos fibers are incredibly small, but they are sharp and can lodge themselves inside a person’s skin. The resulting growths are benign, but irritating and cumbersome. While asbestos warts themselves can result in medical expenses for removal, they could be indicators of something greater. Those who have developed these warts should visit their doctor to see if they were exposed to asbestos to a degree that it affects the lungs.
Asbestos fibers, if inhaled, can cause a number of different conditions in the lungs. One of those conditions is pleural plaques. This is infected tissue in the lining of the lungs (the pleura) that appear to be raised and white. These infected areas are calcified, but not cancerous. Much like asbestos warts, pleural plaques can be an indicator of a greater disease, such as mesothelioma. If you are diagnosed with a pleural plaque, it is likely because it was seen on an X-ray. Similar to a plaque is pleural thickening, which is a condition that is associated in some cases with asbestosis. A thickening of the pleura, if serious, can cause difficulty breathing.
Pneumothorax is another lung condition caused by asbestos exposure. Pneumothorax is not always caused by asbestos exposure. Basically, this condition is a collection of gases in the lining of the lungs that can interfere with breathing. Depending on the degree of exposure, this condition may or may not cause breathing difficulty. Any of these conditions can accompany a greater disease such as malignant mesothelioma, so it is important to make regular visits to your healthcare professional. If you were diagnosed with any of the following, be sure to speak with a Personal Injury Attorney from our firm about possible legal action that could get you compensation for medical costs.