Asbestos poisoning (asbestosis) is a serious medical condition that can result in disability or even death. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are suffering any of the symptoms listed below, get medical attention immediately and call our office to speak to an experienced asbestos poisoning lawyer to see if you might be eligible for compensation. Here are the main symptoms of asbestos poisoning to watch for:
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent, dry cough
- Chest tightness or pain
- Dry and crackling sounds in your lungs when you inhale
- Fingertips and toes that appear wider and rounder than usual (clubbing)
How Does Asbestos Cause Injury ?
Asbestos is a natural mineral product that used to be used in things like insulation, cement, and some floor tiles because it is very resistant to heat and corrosion. It is a fibrous material, and it has been discovered that working with or around it can cause severe lung damage if the fibers are inhaled. Over time, the lungs stiffen and cannot expand and contract normally as is required for breathing. Smoking increases the severity of asbestosis. Symptoms can take 10 to 40 years to appear.
Most people with asbestos poisoning got it from working with asbestos before it was as strictly regulated as it is today. Now, its use is regulated and only trained, and accredited professionals should handle it. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asbestosis. The only treatments are aimed at relieving symptoms as much as possible.
What Professions Are Most Prone to Asbestos Poisoning?
Asbestos is generally not a problem unless it is disturbed. Once the fibers are released into the air, however, they can be breathed in, causing severe lung damage. Some of the most common professions in which workers have been exposed to asbestos are listed below. It is important to note that even the family members of these workers can be exposed to asbestos secondarily if the exposed party brings it into the home on clothes or shoes. Workers most likely to be exposed to asbestos include:
- Asbestos miners
- Aircraft and auto mechanics
- Boiler operators
- Building construction workers
- Railroad workers
- Refinery and mill workers
- Shipyard workers
- Workers removing asbestos insulation around steam pipes in older buildings
What Treatments Are Available for Asbestosis?
While there is no cure for asbestosis, there are some treatments that can make symptoms more manageable. Breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and supplemental oxygen can help in managing symptoms. If the patient is a good candidate, a lung transplant may be considered. It is important to avoid exposure to bacteria and viruses that cause respiratory infections and to get immediate treatment if infection occurs. Patients should stop smoking immediately, as smoking can speed up the progression of the disease.
If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis, contact an attorney from Greer Law Group to discuss your options for seeking compensation.