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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that is resistant to heat and has many other good qualities. In the United States, about 95% of asbestos used is chrysotile. Asbestos fibers are resistant to heat and they have been used as insulation materials in many residential and commercial buildings throughout the U.S. Here are a few examples of materials that may contain asbestos: vinyl floor tiles, pipe insulation, thermal system insulation on mechanical equipment, acoustical plaster ceilings, ceiling tiles, structural steel fireproofing, and roofing materials. The asbestos in these materials does not pose a health risk to building occupants when they are intact and well maintained. When the material becomes damaged and the asbestos fibers become airborne then an inhalation hazard will result. When inhaled asbestos is hazardous and may cause mesothelioma, lung disease and forms of cancer.

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which is a cancer of the lining around the abdomen, heart and lungs. Mesothelioma is caused when someone breathes in asbestos dust and fibers. The asbestos fibers and dust get lodged in the lungs or stomach lining, where it can remain for years before the damage becomes noticeable.Mesothelioma has a long latency period where it can take as long as 15 to 50 years for the illness to take effect. In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos exposure may also cause lung cancer, colon cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law
Mesothelioma law enables victims of asbestos exposure to file claims against the liable companies or individuals within the set deadlines of the statutes of limitation. Asbestos exposure victims can file a claim for medical expenses, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. The families of victims that have already died from asbestos related diseases may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

In order to recover fair compensation for damages in a mesothelioma lawsuit, all depends on having quality mesothelioma lawyer on your side. A mesothelioma law firm can help you and your family regain lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. A plaintiff who has been awarded compensation for one asbestos-related condition like asbestosis may be able to return to court if they develop malignantmesothelioma at a later on down the road. In some cases, a plaintiff may have a better chance of recovering damages as part of a joint action lawsuit. An experienced mesothelioma attorney will sort through the complexities of asbestos litigation to determine the best procedure for each individual client.

Industries Affected by Asbestos
Asbestos was used in building construction industry to increase the overall strength of concrete slabs and pillars, as general insulation. It was also used as insulation around piping and boilers. From the late 1920's to the 1970s, asbestos was commonly applied in spray form, this exposed workers to airborne asbestos particles that could easily be inhaled. Since asbestos cannot be broken down by the body, the particles remain in the lungs causingMesothelioma and other forms of lung cancer.

Just like the construction industry, asbestos was used in shipyards to insulate pipes, gaskets, boilers and engines to prevent heat gain or loss. The fact that asbestos was lightweight made it extremely useful in ships. The peak of asbestos use in ship yards came during WWII when demand for ships was at an all time high.

Other industries were affected other then the construction and shipbuilding industry. The most common example of general industry exposure occurs in auto repair shops. In particular auto repair shops specializing in brake and clutch repair. For decades, asbestos was used in brake pads, break drums, and clutches. As a result, asbestos exposure can often occur during brake and clutch repairs.
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