Asbestos is an incredibly dangerous carcinogen that is commonly found in homes built before 1980. Knowing that there’s asbestos in your home can be rather unsettling, and you may want to have it removed.
Removing asbestos is a long, expensive process, but luckily it’s not always completely necessary. Asbestos that is found in areas of the home that are in good condition and will not be disturbed, such as piping and crawl spaces, is unlikely to break into its dangerous fibrous form. Asbestos is most dangerous when it can be inhaled into the lungs, where it causes scarring and a cancer of internal linings known as mesothelioma.
If you decide to leave the asbestos where it is, you may choose to have it sealed or covered up. This can make you feel more secure that it won’t come loose and provides a marking for future residents of the building.
If you want to have the substance removed, you will seek the help of a professional who is familiar with how to safely extract asbestos and dispose of it lawfully. In many states, this is handled by the Environmental Protection Agency. The typical cost of asbestos removal is rather steep, with many services billing hundreds of dollars per hour.
Asbestos exposure has become an increasingly discussed issue in recent years, mostly because those who have suffered from it are just now learning about their exposure. Asbestos exposure might not be evident early on, but its signs often appear later in life, sometimes even dozens of years after initial exposure occurred. Generally, people are exposed to asbestos because of their occupations, though secondary exposure is also possible. Asbestos was used in many different building materials like drywall, plumbing, and other building supplies, and before it was officially banned in 1980, was used in thousands of building projects.
Because of the prominent use of asbestos in building projects, thousands and thousands of people have been exposed to its dangerous fibers. These fibers can have various side effects, which have the potential to worsen as time passes. In most cases, because people do not know that they have been exposed to asbestos, the side effects of this exposure can get worse and cause dangerous consequences. Knowing more about these potential side effects might better prepare a person to look for the symptoms of asbestos exposure, which can enable him or her to more quickly take action if asbestos exposure has, indeed, occurred.
Common Side Effects
Exposure to asbestos can have many different negative side effects, each of which can cause difficulties for those who develop them. For instance, some of the more common side effects of asbestos exposure include:
These conditions are all possible when a person inhales broken asbestos fibers. The fibers can become lodged in a person’s lungs, causing extreme irritation over time. As time passes, the body tries to fight this irritation, but often ends up producing cancerous cells in the attempt, though other negative effects can also take place.
Many people have suffered from asbestos exposure, and have developed and suffered from a number of different side effects, including those listed above. When this happens, immediate and thorough medical treatment is often necessary; unfortunately, lots of people feel that they cannot afford such treatment. However, those who have been wrongfully exposed to asbestos – which often occurs because of their place of employment – may actually qualify to receive financial compensation for their exposure. Many people have received such compensation to help them pay for the treatments necessary to battle the effects of asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer which has an extremely poor prognosis when detected in later stages of the disease when the cancerous cells have expanded to multiple organs and tissues. Unfortunately, early detection of mesothelioma is extremely difficult to achieve due to a variety of factors. Symptoms of mesothelioma are often very subtle, and easily confused with a host of other possible medical issues or dismissed entirely as inconsequential at first. Additionally, mesothelioma possesses an extremely long latency period, which is to say that it can take 20-50 years between initial exposure to asbestos before symptoms of disease begin to manifest.
Treatment for mesothelioma can be more or less successful depending on which stage of advancement the cancer has reached, and are generally classified as the following:
The tumor is localized in stage one, meaning that there is no involvement of the lymph nodes or other organs. In most cases, treatment can be extremely successful when mesothelioma is detected in stage one, as surgical removal of the tumor can be achieved with relative ease and subsequent radiation treatment and chemotherapy can sometimes result in a full recovery.
Larger tumors which have begun invasion of the lungs or diaphragm are classified as stage 2 mesothelioma. Additionally, the lymph nodes may also be involved. Surgery is sometimes still a potential option in such situations even when the cancer has spread to both sides of the pleura. Prognosis for stage 2 is significantly lower than in stage 1, as the likelihood of successfully removing the full extent of cancerous cells is low.
Once cancerous cells have invaded an entire region such as the chest wall, lymph nodes, and esophagus, mesothelioma is classified as stage 3 and surgical options for removal are generally ruled out due to the sheer number of organs involved. Chemotherapy is the preferred option in this stage for most patients, often used in tandem with other treatments selected by the doctor on a case by case basis.
Stage 4 mesothelioma involves cancer which has metastasized throughout the body, involving the chest, abdomen, neck, and sometimes bones. There is no value to surgical treatment in this stage of mesothelioma, and prognosis is extremely negative.
Advanced medical technologies have made a wealth of treatments available for individuals suffering from mesothelioma, but such treatments come with a steep price tag that many may be unable to afford. With the assistance of a skilled Mesothelioma lawyer however, you may be able to recover the full amount of medical expenses incurred by pursuing a lawsuit against the individual or party responsible for your original exposure to asbestos.
One of the attributes of mesothelioma that makes it an extremely dangerous and deadly form of cancer is it’s difficulty to diagnose. With an extremely long latency period between exposure to the carcinogenic substances which cause the disease, in this case asbestos, it can be 20 to 50 years before any identifiable symptoms can begin to manifest themselves. In addition to this, mesothelioma symptoms are subtle and easily mistaken for other medical problems, and as such can be dismissed and ignored for extended periods of time before any serious effort is put into discovering the cause of the problem. It is not uncommon for patients to live with symptoms for as long as 6 moths prior to diagnosis, at which point the cancer has often advanced to a stage which makes long term prognosis extremely poor.
The most common symptoms of patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma are lower back pain or pain the side of the chest, as well as shortness of breath. These are common issues which can be attributed to a huge range of medical conditions or ignored altogether, which results in a delayed diagnosis. The following are all other common symptoms experienced by mesothelioma patients:
- Chest Pain
- Fluid Effusion
- Peritoneal Effusion
- Bowel Obstruction
- Weight Loss
- Pleural Effusion
- Blood Clotting Disorder
The presence of such symptoms may indicate that exposure to asbestos through some means in the patients past has lead to the development of mesothelioma, an extremely aggressive and malignant form of cancer which affects the lining of various organs and cavities in the body such as the lungs and chest. Should you experience such symptoms, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention from an experienced doctor specializing in oncology or mesothelioma specifically.
Treatment for mesothelioma involves an extensive array of medical processes, and may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy among other options. Such treatment can cost the patient enormous amounts of money and in some cases may be prohibitively expensive without additional funding of some form. Fortunately, many patients are able to obtain compensation from the party responsible for their initial exposure to asbestos which caused the disease by seeking the assistance of a mesothelioma lawyer in order to establish that negligence lead to an unsafe asbestos environment. Damages in a mesothelioma lawsuit typically include direct medical expenses, for the duration of the patients treatment, as well as other losses experienced by the patient and their family.
The safe handling of asbestos has been a constant health concern since the direct correlation between exposure to asbestos and the onset of mesothelioma and related cancers became apparent to medical researchers in the early 20th century, resulting in sweeping bans against the use of the substance in commercial applications and strict guidelines necessitating the removal of the material whenever and wherever possible. Mesothelioma is an extremely dangerous form of cancer which develops in the protective linings of the internal organs of the body, most commonly the pleura surrounding the lungs. The cancer is very rare, but exposure to asbestos is the only direct risk factor identified by researchers, with a direct proportion of increased exposure leading to increased disease.
Exposure to asbestos can occur both naturally due to the presence of the mineral in the environment, or can occur as a result of an occupational exposure to the substance. As asbestos occurs naturally and is mined for commercial use, it can also contaminate water sources, food products, and otherwise come into contact with humans in quantities sufficient to result in disease last in life. This sort of exposure is highly uncommon, but in areas where asbestos is occurring naturally the danger can be extremely high. In a village in Turkey, 50% of all deaths occurring were caused by mesothelioma originating from asbestos exposure.
Much more commonly, asbestos exposure occurs due to occupational hazards in which workers directly handle mesothelioma or are otherwise exposed to residual mesothelioma which has not been safely removed from buildings and other structures. Asbestos was widely used in various industrial products such as cement, roof shingles, flooring products, and extensively as insulation, and the deterioration of these products or unsafe demolition of them puts those in the area at extreme risk of exposure to asbestos fibers. Additionally, family members and others living with asbestos workers have an extremely elevated risk of developing mesothelioma.
Unfortunately, exposure to asbestos can happen without the knowledge of the victim, and the results will not make themselves apparent until 20-50 years after exposure when mesothelioma begins to develop. For this reason, discovering the source of the exposure can be extremely difficult, as can identifying the party responsible for the exposure. Fortunately, many families affected by mesothelioma are able to to recover compensation for the losses they experience by filing a lawsuit with the assistance of a mesothelioma lawyer. The medical expenses associated with cancer treatments can be ruinously expensive for families on a fixed income, and legal assistance is often necessary to help offset these costs.
An audit of state prisons in Kansas revealed that both the Lansing and Winifield prisons contain unsafe levels of asbestos. The news comes after the Kansas Department of Corrections spent $170,000 to ensure pipe insulation, ceiling tile and flooring was free of hazardous material.
The remediation work on the Lansing and Winifield prisons is estimated at $75,000. The project includes replacing pipe wrapping and ceiling tile.
Abestos is known to cause mesothelioma, a dangerous and aggressive cancer which forms after asbestos fibers latch onto the lining of the stomach, lungs or heart. Because of the long latency period of the disease, the cancer has a low survival rate.
The state isn’t required to remove the asbestos immediately but plans to act quickly as to prevent injury to inmates, staff or the public.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been used by humans for more than two millennia. It is incredibly resistant to fire and capable of being woven into cloth.
The earliest known asbestos mine is located on the Greek island of Ewoia. The ancient Greeks were fascinated with asbestos. They used it in a wide variety of capacities, such as a building material and as wicks in candles that would burn forever. The Romans are said to have made asbestos napkins that were cleaned by throwing them into fire. The cloth would survive the flames, and would come out clean.
Even the ancient Greeks were able to notice that the slaves working their asbestos mines developed lung problems and died young. However, this did not stop industrial revolution era businesses from using the substance in building ships, factories, homes, and all sorts of other large and small scale items.
Towards the end of the 1970s, outrage over asbestos-related illnesses caused lawmakers to pass what is essentially a ban on asbestos products.