There are between 2,500 and 3,000 new mesothelioma diagnoses each year in the United States and mesothelioma’s only known cause is asbestos exposure. Because of the number of diagnoses, mesothelioma is labeled an orphan disease which is part of the reason there are still so many myths surrounding asbestos exposure. Below you’ll find five common myths about asbestos.
Myth #1: Asbestos Is Banned In the United States
While asbestos has been banned in over 55 countries it is still legal in the United States. It’s possible that this myth originated because asbestos was briefly banned in the 1980s before being overturned in the courts. You can still find up to 1% asbestos content in brakes, gaskets, and other parts however this percentage is much lower than it once was.
Myth #2: There are Safe Levels Of Asbestos
There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a fiberous and friable mineral. The fibers can break down to even smaller fibers becoming airborne when disturbed. The asbestos particles are shaped like little hooks that once inhaled latch on to the lungs. This myth probably confuses level of exposure with containment. Asbestos that is properly contained is fairly safe, it’s when the material becomes disturbed that the real danger is posed.
Myth #3: Only Long Term Exposure Is Deadly
Just like there is no level of exposure that is safe, there is no length of time that is safe either. It is true that the more you are exposed to the deadly mineral the more likely you are to get an asbestos related disease, that doesn’t mean that long term exposure is required for fatal consequences. This myth is likely due to the long 15-50 year latency periods of the various asbestos related diseases.
Myth #4: There Aren’t Any Asbestos Alternatives
This is more an unsupported excuse for keeping asbestos legal than anything else. There are plenty of other alternatives. While these alternatives may not be as cheap as asbestos they are certainly less deadly.
- Silica fabrics that resist fire/heat as well as mildew
- Cellulose fiber made from newsprint, making it a “green” option
- Flour fillers made from nut shells or grain hulls (and therefore, another green option)
- Polyurethane foam spray used for insulation and other applications
- Thermoset plastic flour, often used in electrical insulation and auto parts
Myth #5: Asbestos Only Impacts the Lungs
Asbestos is most likely to impact the lungs compared to all other areas of the body but it’s not the only body part that is impacted. Asbestos manifests in the lungs approximately 75% of the time, in the abdomen 20% of the time, and then more rarely the lining of the heart or testicles.
The Paul Law Firm advocates for victims of asbestos-related diseases. If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, call the Paul Law Firm. With over 2.5 billion dollars collected for victims of asbestos exposure, we have the knowledge and the experience to fight for you. We also understand that fighting doesn’t just happen in the courtroom. It also happens in a lab where we are fighting for a cure. Check out the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America here.
Call us today at 1-855 88 LEGAL (885-3425) or contact us online to discuss your case with one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers