If asbestos fibers get inhaled, they can get into the smallest airways and cause irritation to the lining of the lungs. This irritation can cause damage that leads to the development of abnormal cancer cells. Additionally, there are other areas within the body that can be affected. As mesothelioma progresses, it can result in fluid building up in the area between the chest wall and lungs. If untreated, mesothelioma can spread to the lymph nodes and turns into a life-threatening scenario.
Those At Risk
So who is at risk for developing mesothelioma? The main risk factor is exposure to asbestos, which is a fire-resistant material that has been used in insulation and other items around the 1950-1970s and before. As of now, it has been banned. However, those who had occupations as electricians, miners, plumbers, insulators, or pipefitters could be at a high risk of exposure. The longer that you have been exposed to asbestos, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. If an employer or other party is responsible for your asbestos exposure, speak to a law firm as soon as you can.
Along with exposure to asbestos in your home or career, other risk factors include age, genetics, and radiation therapy. Radiation in particular applies to those who have received high doses of radiation therapy, specifically to the chest area. While the risk of mesothelioma goes up with age, children who have undergone radiation therapy can develop this condition as well. Common symptoms of mesothelioma are listed as follows:
- Pain in lower back or side of chest
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of arms and face
- Trouble swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Fluid or swelling in abdomen
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Blood clots
- Weight loss without trying
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Heart murmur
If you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos at home or work, there are ways you can reduce your exposure and limit the chances of developing mesothelioma. Firstly, you can ask your employer if you are vulnerable to inhaling asbestos as part of your job duties. Be sure to abide by all safety regulations that your employer enforces, such as utilizing protective equipment, changing out of work clothes before going home, showering, etc.
As a mesothelioma lawsuit lawyer explains, if you live in an older home, leaving alone areas that contain asbestos is better than removing it. In fact, you would be putting yourself and others in your home in danger of serious exposure if you attempt to remove the asbestos yourself. Breaking up asbestos fibers causes them to release into the air, making it easy to inhale.
Those who have been exposed to asbestos, whether in small or large amounts, may be diagnosed with mesothelioma later in life. One dangerous element of asbestos exposure is the fact that the illness may not present itself until years afterwards. So when considering taking legal action against an employer or other party who unlawfully exposed you to this hazardous material, think about in what ways in your career and home that asbestos may have been present.