An asbestos-related illness is not a light subject. Initially known for its efficient qualities, asbestos was a common mineral in manufacturing and construction. However, asbestos is now considered a very dangerous chemical that leads to alarming health consequences.
Anyone exposed to asbestos for lengthy periods should seek fair compensation for being put in harm's way. However, filing a claim starts with proving asbestos exposure.
Forms of Asbestos-Related Illness
Asbestos exposure can cause many illnesses. The most common asbestos-related disease is mesothelioma, a type of cancer within the lung tissue and abdomen. Other sicknesses include respiratory diseases and cancers, such as:
Being exposed to asbestos a few times does not usually lead to severe illnesses. Repeated exposure to the harmful mineral over a long time gives rise to adverse health effects. It can take about 20 years for symptoms to appear since initial contact.
Types of Asbestos
Asbestos is a bundle of minerals including, oxygen and silicon. The sharp fibers were used for insulation due to their strength and heat resistance. Schools, homes, and factories used asbestos up until its ban in the 1980s for the health risks it posed.
There are two forms of asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos, which many also call white asbestos, is the more common of the two. Many factories used it in their construction.
The other type is amphibole asbestos. Unlike white asbestos, this form is categorized by different colors, such as blue asbestos.
Scientists found that chrysotile and amphibole lead to dangerous asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma. As a result, anyone with knowledge of asbestos exposure should talk with their doctor and consider filing a claim.
Common Sources of Asbestos Exposure
Anyone from construction workers to home dwellers could have come into contact with asbestos over lengthy periods. Exposure can occur through inhaling or swallowing the minerals.
Inhaling asbestos fibers commonly occurs through manufacturing or installation. When mining, processing, or working with the mineral, asbestos dust can form in the air, leading to inhalation. Many workers can detect asbestos fibers in the atmosphere.
The other way people are exposed is by swallowing. This is through the consumption of liquids or foods with asbestos-containing materials. Additionally, swallowing can occur after coughing up asbestos from the lungs.
The following sources prove to show asbestos exposure:
High-risk jobs and their sites
Some people also had more exposure to asbestos because they worked with asbestos-related materials, either directly or indirectly with products, including home installation.
Why Prove Asbestos Exposure for Claims
Being exposed to asbestos is a danger to human health. As such, workers and anyone else who experienced exposure to the dangerous mineral must receive fair compensation.
To file an asbestos claim, victims must prove their asbestos exposure. Without this critical information, a lawsuit or settlement cannot continue successfully.
Trying to prove asbestos exposure can be challenging. However, a skilled work injury lawyer can help those affected by asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma, or other illnesses to prove their contact occurred.
How to Prove Asbestos Exposure Occurred
Proving asbestos exposure is possibly the most essential part of a claim. There is no way to reach a fair settlement without proof. However, dealing with an illness while filing a claim is no easy feat. Along with the help of a trusted lawyer, there are ways people can prove their exposure. They can also advise on the most common healthcare workplace injuries.
The best way is to provide documents, such as medical records. Some of the documentation that people can use for proof of exposure to asbestos include:
Official pathology report that proves the diagnosis
Lung function tests
Employment records and pay stubs
Physician's statement proving asbestos exposure lead to illness
Proving exposure in the workplace involves demonstrating that the employer knew the asbestos exposure occurred.
The government banned the mineral in the 1980s, so if it took place after the fact, the employer should be held accountable. They most likely knew of asbestos' harmful effects on employee health.
To provide evidence employers knew of contact, eyewitness testimony may be necessary. Additionally, victims must prove there was no precaution taken to prevent exposure, including the use of safety equipment or helpful policies.
Working with a mesothelioma attorney also helps claimants have access to databases that can provide evidence of workplace exposure. Lawyers can also access information about companies that worked with asbestos, proving exposure.
What to Do If Exposure Is Known
People who repeatedly contacted materials that contained asbestos could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits or other forms of restitution. However, it can take up to 20 years for the effects of asbestos exposure to appear. Symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue.
Victims who know they were exposed to asbestos should take certain health precautions to reduce the severity of symptoms or catch the illness in its early stages. Larrimer & Larrimer can help with questions such as, "What is the statute of limitations on asbestos claims in Ohio?"
The first thing to do is identify how long exposure lasted. Short-term contact that lasted up to mere hours has low cancer risk and a smaller likelihood of developing mesothelioma.
Any exposure that lasted months to years has a high risk for development. Those with a high risk should take cautionary measures for their health.
Quitting smoking is another way for those exposed to asbestos to lessen the likelihood of malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other health concerns.
The next best thing is to see a doctor regularly and ensure that prior asbestos exposure is a main concern. Physicians may require routine chest X-rays for monitoring. Additionally, if any concerning symptoms arise, exposure victims should speak with their doctor immediately for the next steps.
Overall, there is no way to prevent mesothelioma or asbestos-related illnesses after frequent exposure. However, doctors can identify illnesses early, which can increase the survival rate.
Contact a Trusted Mesothelioma Lawyer
The diseases caused by asbestos exposure are serious. After the 80s, it was public knowledge that contact with the mineral could be severely harmful. Employers and authority figures who knew of exposure could have to reach a settlement, but that is not always easy.
As such, an asbestos case must be reviewed by a mesothelioma attorney. They can help prove exposure to the toxic chemical and improve the chances of reaching fair compensation. Contact Larrimer & Larrimer for professional and skilled support.