Exposure to asbestos is common among blue collar professionals, and unfortunately, often those family members who have lived under the same roof with them. Over time, workers and their families can be continually exposed to asbestos, and effects of those hidden dangers do not show up for years or even decades. If one or more of your family members has suffered from the effects of ongoing exposure to asbestos, you have the right to seek just compensation from those responsible. Speak with an experienced Chicago asbestos and mesothelioma attorney right away who can advise you of your rights and help you recover full damages for your injuries.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that has been directly linked to exposure to asbestos. When the tiny fibers of asbestos are breathed in, they quickly move to the ends of the small air passages of the lungs and travel to the lining of the lungs, where they do damage to the lining, known as mesothelial cells. Mesothelioma may not occur until 20 to 60 years after exposure to asbestos, and early symptoms are easily confused with other lung illnesses, such as pneumonia. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos, whether on the job or at home via a family contact, and who presents any symptoms that could be possibly mesothelioma, should see their doctor immediately. Far too often, mesothelioma is diagnosed too late, treatment is delayed, and the condition becomes fatal.
Who is at Risk to Asbestos Exposure?
Low levels of asbestos are present in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil where our food comes from. However, most people do not become ill from the minimal levels of exposure they receive to this toxic substance. People who are exposed to high levels of asbestos on a regular basis for a sustained period of time are most likely to end up with mesothelioma and other health complications.
There are certain industries that pose a much higher danger of this ongoing exposure. These include:
- Construction: Asbestos-based products have been used in many areas of general construction. Insulation, drywall, floor/ceiling tiles, shingles, texture coatings, caulk and other construction materials have been known to contain asbestos fibers.
- Mining: Underground mines are widely known to pose ventilation problems and mine workers have been forced to breathe in large quantities of asbestos dust on a daily basis.
- Industrial Plants and Factories: Industrial facilities of all kinds – from textile factories to power plants to oil refineries – have used asbestos extensively in the course of their operations.
- Railroads: Railroad workers have had to deal regularly with replacing asbestos-based insulation while maintaining the steam pipes, boilers and other units critical to their operation.
- Auto Mechanics: Brake pads, clutches and other auto parts contained high amounts of asbestos fibers that become airborne during regular inspections and installations.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact the experienced Chicago asbestos injury lawyers at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. to discuss your case. At HM&M, we have over 20 years of experience helping victims and their family members that have had a high level of exposure to asbestos leading to harmful health conditions such as mesothelioma. Our legal team works with investigators to determine the root cause of your illness and hold the responsible parties accountable.