Joe was exposed to asbestos while performing mechanic work on cars, light trucks and heaving machinery primarily between 1978-1994. Joe was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2004.
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Lipman Law Firm
5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd.,
Suite 44
Coral Gables FL 33146

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Phone: (305) 662-2600
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Mesothelioma - Are You At Risk?

Asbestos Exposure Can Lead to Mesothelioma

What Is Asbestos? And How Is It Used?

ASBESTOS IS THE NAME GIVEN TO A GROUP OF MINERALS THAT OCCUR NATURALLY AS MASSES OF FIBERS, WHICH CAN BE SEPARATED INTO THIN THREADS AND WOVEN. Yet while they are soft and seemingly fragile, these are fibers of stone. Virtually indestructible. And it is these properties along with asbestos' tremendous resistance to heat and chemicals, which lead to its widespread use throughout the industrial world. These fiber masses have a tendency to break easily into a dust of tiny particles that can float in the air, stick to clothes, and may be easily inhaled or swallowed.

How Great is the Risk? And What Can You Do?

NOT ALL WORKERS EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS WILL DEVELOP DISEASES RELATED TO THEIR EXPOSURE. In fact, although they are at a much higher risk, many will not suffer any ill effects. Your risk, or chance, of getting a disease depends on certain conditions, sometimes called risk factors. For asbestos-related disease, the first risk factor is how much asbestos was in the air you breathed, or the concentration of asbestos in the air. The second risk factor is the cumulative length of all exposure or duration. The risk factors or concentration and duration establish a person's dose. With all things being equal, the higher a dose a person has, the greater chance that person may suffer illness. However, it is important to note that research has shown that mesothelioma can develop after relatively low exposure to asbestos, and that there is consequently no "safe" dose.

Another misconception is the belief that you have to work directly with asbestos to contract asbestos related illnesses. On the contrary, you could even work or live around someone who does. Family members have contracted mesothelioma by inhaling asbestos fibers lodged in the asbestos worker's clothing.

Asbestos bonded in finished products is not a risk to health, as long as the product is not damaged or disturbed (by sawing or drilling, for example) which would release fibers into the air. Since the fibers are nearly indestructible, a risk exists if they are set free. Once the asbestos particles work their way into body tissue, they tend to stay there indefinitely.

Some studies have shown that 25 percent of all deaths among workers heavily exposed to asbestos were caused by lung cancer. This compares to 4 to 5 percent of all deaths caused by lung cancer among the general population. These same studies also show that 7 percent of the asbestos-exposed workers will contract asbestosis and 7 to 10 percent will succumb to mesothelioma.

Individuals exposed to asbestos should take the following steps:

    1. Stop smoking
    2. Get routine health check-ups
    3. Get prompt medical attention for any respiratory illnesses

What Makes Asbestos So Dangerous to Our Health?

THESE FEATHERY-LIGHT ASBESTOS FIBERS ARE EASILY ABSORBED BY HUMANS, INHALED AS ASBESTOS DUST. Once in our lungs, their astonishing indestructibility means that they may very well remain there for the rest of our lives, wreaking terrible havoc. Most people do not show symptoms for decades. But in time, the first symptoms of disease may appear such as shortness of breath and fatigue. The victims may look outwardly healthy, but all the while the tumors are festering, and decay is setting in the lungs and other vital organs.

Members of your Family May Be Exposed to Asbestos

There is also strong evidence that family members of workers heavily exposed to asbestos face an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases, as a direct result of exposure to asbestos dust brought into the home on the shoes, clothing, skin, and hair of the worker. With asbestos fibers being practically weightless, odorless, colorless, and tasteless, family members may never know they breathed in asbestos until it is too late. If you would like more information on detection, you may wish to consult with a medical physician.

List of Trades & Occupations Associated With Asbestos Exposure

Through years and years of medical studies conducted on asbestos related illnesses, the following occupations and trades have been shown to have high levels of asbestos exposure. Please be aware that people can and do obtain asbestos exposure from occupations not listed below. If you or someone you know worked in one of these fields, you may wish to be examined by your physician for an asbestos-related condition.

  • Blacksmiths
  • Boilermakers
  • Carpenters
  • Drywall Tapers
  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Garage Workers
  • Insulator
  • Iron Workers
  • Laborers
  • Maintenance Workers
  • Mechanics
  • Metal Lathers
  • Painters
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Railyards
  • Repairmen
  • Shipyards
  • Steamfitters
  • Tile Setters
  • War Veterans
  • Welders

If you have any questions regarding possible asbestos exposure from an trade or occupation, please click here to contact us.

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