Mesothelioma: Lung Cancer Caused by Inhaling Asbestos
Lung cancer is a type of malignant, or invasive, tumor that generates in the lungs. Research shows that this disease leads to the deaths of as many as 160,000 individuals each year in the United States. While smoking has been identified as the most common cause of lung cancer, those who are exposed to certain hazardous materials such as asbestos can end up with cancer, as well. Asbestos is a carcinogen that causes lung cancer, commonly referred to as mesothelioma. Studies show that mesothelioma claims as many as 5,000 lives each year.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring group of minerals that are present in soil and rocks. Asbestos is heat and fire resistant and does not conduct electricity. As a result of these characteristics, many manufacturers began using asbestos in products on a massive scale as early as the late 1800s. Asbestos were used in all types of products for insulation purposes in homes, ships, factories, and even schools. Asbestos was also present in other common items such as roofing shingles, car parts, cement, and ceiling and floor tiles.
Many years ago, the United States government recognized the direct link between asbestos and lung cancer, resulting in a permanent ban of the use of asbestos. Asbestos is still present in products and parts as well as in older buildings and waterpipes, however. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has estimated that millions of employees in the construction industry and other trades continue to face work-related asbestos exposure.
Exposure to Asbestos
Typically, individuals are exposed to asbestos primarily by inhaling fibers that are present in an environment in which asbestos has been disrupted. Examples of such a scenario include the mining and processing of asbestos, the manufacture of products containing asbestos, or the installation of asbestos insulation. Asbestos fibers can also be disturbed when an older building containing asbestos is renovated or demolished. Beyond breathing the fibers, asbestos fibers can also be swallowed. This may occur if the water has passed through asbestos cement pipes. Moreover, family members and loved ones of individuals who have been exposed to asbestos can experience second hand exposure as a result of being in contact with that person’s clothing or skin.
Mesothelioma lung cancer is a deadly condition because it is difficult to detect in the early stages. Some victims of asbestos exposure exhibit no symptoms at the onset of exposure but instead manifest symptoms years, or even several decades later. For this reason, it is not uncommon for the disease to be at the advanced stages once a person has developed symptoms. The common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Coughing up blood;
- Emergence of a new, chronic cough;
- Changes in an existing, chronic cough;
- Chest pain;
- Shortness of breath;
- Unexpected weight loss; or
- Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis.
Lung Cancer Attorney
As a nationally recognized law firm, Napoli Shkolnik PLLC is committed to helping clients win cases. With decades of experience, these lung cancer trial attorneys have dedicated ourselves to holding those responsible for injuring others liable. If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with lung cancer, contact one of our seasoned attorneys right away. Call (212) 397-1000 or click here today to schedule your initial, free case evaluation.