Exposure to Asbestos Puts You and Your Family at Risk of Mesothelioma

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Law, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Nellie Kershaw was a British national who, in 1917, worked at the Turner Brothers Asbestos Company, a factory in Manchester, England, where she spun raw asbestos fiber into yarn. In 1924, just seven years after being regularly exposed to the mineral asbestos, she died . . . with fibrosis of the lungs as the identified cause of death.

Asbestosis is one of the known causes of fibrosis of the lungs (also called pulmonary fibrosis), a condition wherein the lungs get scarred, causing these to thicken and lose the ability to transmit oxygen into the bloodstream. Fibrosis of the lungs is an irreversible lung injury that makes breathing harder as the lungs continue to deteriorate and weaken overtime.

A formal inquest revealed that Nellie Kershaw’s lungs were extensively scarred by particles of various shapes, most of which had sharp angles – particles that were identified as asbestos fibers. Though Nellie was the first to be formally diagnosed as having suffered from asbestosis, a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, there were many others who died before her due to exposure to the same mineral; many of these people were asbestos miners.

Asbestosis is just one of the fatal effects of the mineral asbestos. Two other known serious effects of asbestos are lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare, but deadly type of cancer that affects the cells surrounding the lungs and other organs.

About 2,000 – 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the US every year and it is seen in people who got exposed to asbestos regularly. Widespread exposure to asbestos happened from the 1940s to the late 19th century, with millions of workers having gotten exposed to thousands of tons of asbestos during the time of the Second World War alone. These were shipyard workers and US Navy personnel, whose work involved the building of US battleships, steam engines, boilers, steam turbines, and other ship equipment and facilities.

Due to the very long dormancy period of mesothelioma, which is about 20 to 40 years after first exposure to asbestos, majority of those diagnosed with this illness are already in their senior years. Majority, if not all, of mesothelioma victims are already retired; many companies, which exposed their workers to asbestos, also no longer exist today – some have already been bought by larger firms, while others have ceased operations after declaring bankruptcy – a result of the hundreds of claims lawsuits filed against them by the victims or the victims’ families.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer and companies which exposed their workers to asbestos should be made morally and legally responsible for the injury and suffering they caused in their workers. Certain websites like that of Williams Kherkher, offer detailed explanations about asbestos, mesothelioma, the different types of mesothelioma, who may actually be at risk of this deadly cancer, what its symptoms are, how to deal with it, and the legal rights and options of those diagnosed with it.

If you or a family member had been exposed to asbestos in the past, it will be wise for you and your family to undergo medical examination just to see if asbestos has affected you in any way. It is quite necessary that the other members of your family also get checked medically since your exposure to asbestos would have exposed them to the mineral as well (through your hair, skin and the clothes you wore at work).

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