What Is Asbestos and How Does It Cause Mesothelioma?

Asbestos exposure is a silent danger that can have devastating effects on our health. For those who have suffered due to asbestos, it’s important to know your rights to protect your health and financial security. Understanding the impact of asbestos and the harmful effects of corporate negligence is critical for victims seeking justice.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber used for insulating and fireproofing commercial products. It’s commonly found in:

  • Insulation in attics, walls, and floors
  • Ceiling tiles and popcorn ceilings
  • Pipe insulation
  • Roofs and shingles
  • Vinyl flooring and adhesives
  • Textured paints and coatings
  • Electrical wiring insulation
  • Fireproof clothing and gloves
  • Cement sheeting and siding
  • Brake pads and clutch plates in automobiles

Although asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used in construction materials, it’s proven to be extremely harmful. Its microscopic fibers can become airborne, making it easily inhalable or ingestible. However, its durability and resistance to heat, chemicals, and fire have led to its widespread use in various industries—despite knowing that this toxic, carcinogenic substance leads to ill health effects, particularly for U.S. workers and their families.

To date, medical research has yet to establish any “safe” amount of asbestos that individuals can be exposed to—a telltale sign that this substance is extremely dangerous. Asbestos exposure can have severe implications for our health, and corporate negligence is often at the root of the harm caused. It’s important to understand the major risks of asbestos to protect yourself from harm and even death.

Risks of Asbestos

Asbestos, once hailed as a miracle material for its heat-resistant and fireproof properties, has left a legacy of devastation in its wake. Despite its ban in many countries, the risks of asbestos exposure persist for those who work with or live around it. To date, asbestos is still legal in the United States.

Some important risks to know about asbestos include:

  • Cancer – Asbestos exposure is linked to several types of cancer, with mesothelioma being the most well-known. Other asbestos-related cancers include lung cancer and ovarian cancer.
  • Mesothelioma – This rare and aggressive cancer primarily affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure and has a poor prognosis.
  • Lung Disease – Asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can lead to scarring of the lung tissue, causing asbestosis. This condition impairs lung function and can be debilitating.
  • Respiratory Issues – Asbestos exposure can result in various respiratory problems, including coughing, shortness of breath, and chronic bronchitis.
  • Pleural Plaques – These are areas of thickened tissue on the pleura (the lining around the lungs) and may be an indicator of asbestos exposure. While generally benign, they can cause discomfort and lead to additional complications.
  • Pleural Effusion – Asbestos exposure can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the pleural space, causing breathing difficulties and chest pain.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems – Swallowing asbestos fibers can result in peritoneal mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the abdomen and causing digestive issues.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of organs, most commonly the lungs. Asbestos fibers, when inhaled or ingested, can become lodged in the protective lining of organs, leading to inflammation, scarring, and the development of mesothelioma.

Malignant Mesothelioma: Types & Symptoms

There are various types of mesothelioma, including:

  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma: This type affects the lining of the abdomen and accounts for approximately 20% of mesothelioma cases. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, swelling, and weight loss.
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma: This type affects the lining around the heart. It is extremely rare, accounting for less than 1% of cases. Symptoms may include chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and difficulty breathing.
  • Pleural Mesothelioma: This is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 75% of all mesothelioma cases. It affects the lining of the lungs and can cause symptoms such as chest pain, persistent cough, and shortness of breath.

Over $3.5 Billion Recovered for Our Clients

Our skilled mesothelioma lawyers at The Paul Law Firm are here to defend workers and their families against corporate negligence. If you or a loved one was harmed by asbestos exposure, our award-winning attorneys can fight tirelessly for the justice you deserve. With decades of experience and a proven track record of successful results, you can count on our dedicated asbestos lawyers to prioritize your unique needs and guide your steps with wisdom and integrity throughout the duration of your case.

If you were harmed by asbestos, our skilled mesothelioma attorney can fight for justice on your behalf. Call (855) 885-3425 to request a free consultation.