Asbestos Fibers Cause Dangerous Disease
Asbestos fibers can cause a variety of dangerous diseases, including asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Research shows that the ingestion or inhalation of these fibers causes damage to the lungs and the development of cancer over an extended period of time. When the human body inhales an irritating substance, the body typically produces mucus to surround the irritant. Using its own natural defenses, the body would then cause a person to cough in order to expel the mucus and irritant. Another method of ridding the body of the irritant is known as phagocytosis and occurs in the immune system.
The fibers that are not successfully expelled stay inside the lungs and begin to cause scarring. The presence of this irritant leads to larger problems over time, developing into lung cancer and asbestosis. As the fibers work their way into the lining of the lung, they irritate and seriously damage the surrounding cells. This irritation causes the body to surround them with calcium, which in turn causes pleural plaques. It is this specific condition that slowly leads to the development of mesothelioma. If asbestos is swallowed, mesothelioma may develop in the abdominal lining.
Types of asbestos fibers
Asbestos fibers come in two varieties: amphiboles and serpentines. Amphiboles are long needle-like fibers that do not break down easily and keep in the body tissue for many years. Serpentine fibers have more of a corkscrew shape. These fibers break down more easily, but are nevertheless a very strong irritant.
Asbestos has been used in industrial jobs since the late 1800s. Although it has been known for many years that the substance caused disease, it was nevertheless used extensively until the 1970s. The effects of asbestos exposure do not appear for several decades, so many years past before the connection between asbestos and the development of cancer was truly understood. Many victims of asbestos exposure are between 50-70 years old and have just recently been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.
People who work in insulation jobs, asbestos factories and mining, the heating trades, shipbuilding, brake repair, and construction are all at high risk for asbestos exposure. During World War II, hundreds of thousands of military and civilian workers were exposed to asbestos as they worked in shipyards and factories to supply our country with military equipment.
Protecting your legal rights
While asbestos use has been greatly reduced over the past decade, it is nevertheless being used in the manufacture of some fire safety products. It also remains a threat to people renovating older buildings and those working in buildings that contained asbestos in the past. If you have suffered from asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, contact a mesothelioma lawyer [http://mesolawsuit.com/about_our_mesothelioma_law_firm.aspx] closest to discuss your legal rights.