What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable form of cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos. Over time, asbestos fibers become trapped in the protective lining of the lungs and other organs in the chest and abdomen, irritating cells and causing them to mutate to form tumors. Mesothelioma can spread quickly from the lungs to other parts of the body and is usually fatal.
What Are The Signs Of Mesothelioma?
The first symptoms of asbestos exposure might not occur until decades after the exposure occurred. Because of the unique nature of these types of cases, an experienced asbestos attorney is an essential element to a successful asbestos exposure claim.
Asbestos usually enters the body by way of inhalation (breathing it in). Over time, asbestos inhalation causes a buildup of deposits on the air sacs in the lungs. When the body’s immune system recognizes the foreign asbestos particles, it tries to remove them, usually unsuccessfully. This process may result in scar tissue on the lungs that lessens air-to-blood exchange, which often leads to chronic shortness of breath and/or restricted blood flow to the heart.
Are There Other Conditions Related to Asbestos?
In addition to mesothelioma, it is not uncommon for a victim of asbestos exposure to develop asbestosis, lung cancer, and even total heart or lung failure.
Who Is Vulnerable to Asbestos?
The people most subject to developing complications from asbestos exposure in Illinois are those who come into contact with it by way of their employment. While anybody can be exposed to asbestos on the job, certain workplaces offer a greater risk of exposure because they utilize some of the most common asbestos-laden products, such as:
- Electric Wiring
- Roofing Materials
- Ceiling Tiles
- Naval Ships
- Brake Shoes
There are a number of working environments in Illinois that have made especially heavy use of these potentially asbestos-rich materials, including:
- Oil Refineries – Asbestos’ extreme resistance to heat was considered very useful by the oil industry.
- Paper Mills – Building materials, machinery, and insulation in paper mills built between the 1930s and 1970s frequently contained asbestos.
- Auto Assemblies – These facilities have historically used asbestos-filled materials such as brakes and wheel hubs in the assembly process.
- Steel Mills – Asbestos installation was utilized to protect steel mill machinery from extreme heat and fires.
- Military Bases – Because of the U.S. military’s widespread use of asbestos at a number of arsenals and bases, veterans are among the groups who most frequently develop mesothelioma.
- Power Plants – Across the country, power plants employed asbestos in their machinery.
- Manufacturing Facilities – The natural resistance of asbestos to the intense heat and chemical reactions that occur during many manufacturing processes made its use commonplace in Illinois facilities.
- Chemical Plants – Plants that produced chemicals often incorporated asbestos, including in the boilers and pumps that controlled heat, the piping insulation, the cement, the building materials, and the equipment and protective clothing of employees.
It is not only the workers directly handling the asbestos products who are at risk of developing mesothelioma and other related illnesses. Studies have demonstrated that asbestos fibers can spread in a 75-foot radius after a single disturbance, meaning that anyone in close proximity could be subject to exposure, from the technicians installing the brakes on an auto assembly floor to the secretaries and accountants in the office above them.
This dangerous substance can even have devastating effects on the families and loved ones of the workers at high-risk facilities because asbestos can be transmitted through repeated contact with another person’s work clothing.
It is essential that all these factors be taken into account when pursuing an asbestos exposure claim. Not all personal injury attorneys are sufficiently knowledgeable about asbestos cases to recognize such details, but the attorneys at GWC are intimately familiar with the ins and outs of these often complicated matters.
Need Help? Contact Our Illinois Mesothelioma Lawyers Today
Fortunately, asbestos use has declined sharply since the 1970s; unfortunately, it is not illegal. In fact, the United States is one of the few developed countries not to have banned asbestos, thanks to an orchestrated campaign on the part of industry advocacy groups to oppose stricter regulation, despite the preponderance of scientific evidence about the serious health problems linked to asbestos.
And these health problems are not a thing of the past. Every year, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma and other incurable cancers, while approximately 15,000 people in the United States die from asbestos-related diseases annually.
When faced with the indisputable facts about the harm inflicted by asbestos, countless manufacturers chose to use it anyway instead of safer substitutes so they could continue to reap large profits. Even more gallingly, they did so without warning workers or consumers. These companies chose the bottom line over the common good, leaving generations of Americans holding the bill.
At GWC Injury Lawyers, we think it’s a bill THEY should pay. You should not have to worry about the financial cost and human toll of your asbestos-related illness, especially since it is not your fault but the result of decades of corporate greed. To that end, Congress has set up a trust fund that could provide significant financial compensation for asbestos victims and their families. To help maximize the value of your claim, contact our Chicago mesothelioma lawyers today.
With over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements recovered on behalf of our clients, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. No other litigators are more respected, or feared, by their adversaries, both inside and outside of the courtroom. GWC’s dedicated Chicago mesothelioma attorneys will fight to get you and your loved ones the justice you deserve.
To learn more about our services, you can call us today at 1-312-464-1234, reach us online 24/7 via our “Live Chat” option, or simply fill out our “Free Case Evaluation” form, and we will contact you shortly after we receive your inquiry.