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Mesothelioma Law Blog

Is asbestos exposure increasing in remodeling projects?

In Chattanooga, the Tennessee Occupational Safety & Health Administration (TOSHA) is investigating the remodeling of an historic downtown hotel. According to workers on the project, unsafe remodeling was leading to the release of asbestos into the air.

The investigation is still underway. However, it highlights the fact that remodeling and demolition projects can still expose workers to asbestos in the air. For example, in British Columbia, Canada, the number of unsafe asbestos removal worksites is increasing dramatically. There have been more stop work orders and fines issued to developers and remodelers in the first eight months of 2017 than in all of 2016.

U.S. is importing the most asbestos in years

We tend to think of asbestos as something that we used to use. This is only partly true. Asbestos mining is against the law. All asbestos mines have been shut down because asbestos is a highly toxic mineral that causes mesothelioma and lung cancer. And asbestos can no longer be used as insulation in homes, for example, and is widely prohibited.

However, asbestos remains in many buildings and consumer goods. And asbestos is still used widely in the manufacturing of chlorine and lye, and can be used in gaskets, fireproofing materials and other products. Current demand remains strong enough that the U.S. imported 705 metric tons of raw asbestos in 2016, double that from 2015. One metric ton is over 2,200 pounds.

A surprising source of asbestos exposure: driving off road

Mesothelioma, a rare and often terminal form of cancer, is often linked to asbestos exposure. Asbestos was used ubiquitously throughout the 20th century in construction due to its utility as insulation. Asbestos fibers are resistant to heat, fire and electricity.

Asbestos is also extremely dangerous to humans. The link between asbestos and mesothelioma has been well documented for a century. Workers in mining and construction have been particularly at risk to receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

What should I do if my pacemaker has been recalled?

The best way to begin answering your question is to first talk about what happens when a defective medical device is recalled. This approach may actually provide you with the answers you seek.

There are many reasons manufacturers or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may recall a medical device. However, it is safe to say that most times a medical device recall happens because of a defect. Sometimes, this defect may be a threat to the patient's health or life while other times, the defect may simply involve the way the device works.

A call for greater awareness of Mesothelioma symptoms

Mesothelioma, a rare and terminal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is a worldwide problem. Yet despite the well-known risks associated with asbestos exposure, misdiagnosis is still an issue.

A recent case highlighted by ABC News reinforces the need for greater awareness of mesothelioma symptoms. An Australian couple was en route to New York for a vacation, when one of the individuals began having extreme difficulty breathing. After arrival, she required surgery to drain a lung. A chest x-ray revealed a buildup of fluid in the lungs and she was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma. She had been to the doctor twice in the week prior to the trip and failed to get an accurate diagnosis. 

Many irregularities at the school where an autistic boy drowned

Those who live in Illinois already know about the tragic drowning of a 14-year-old autistic student while he was on school property. As more and more details about the student's death emerge, a picture of the school's lack of appropriate supervision is also coming into focus.

Two people have already been fired from their jobs following the death of the boy and a third firing may also happen. However, the two terminated employees have begun speaking out about the events that led to the boy's wrongful death.

What are the effects of asbestos poisoning?

Asbestos has a strong reputation for existing in old buildings before the dangerous consequences were fully known. Although toxic, it is actually a naturally occurring mineral that is invisible to the naked eye. It was beneficial to buildings because of its strength and heat resistance.

Asbestos can sit behind walls in buildings without causing any human damage, however if the asbestos fiber is disturbed, it can be inhaled without being noticed, and become trapped within the lungs. The consequences of this can be disastrous. Asbestos trapped in the lungs can cause chronic lung disease and has been linked with many cancers. This can happen even decades after the original exposure.

Not just a U.S. problem: Mesothelioma is seen around the world

By now, you may know a good deal about the ongoing health crisis caused by asbestos exposure in the United States, with the majority of mesothelioma cases attributed to exposure. Each year, about 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with the deadly disease.

It is not as commonly known that mesothelioma afflicts many people in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. Asbestos-related diseases are a global problem, and victims and their families need help with diagnosis, treatment and compensation. 

Your job may be putting you at risk for lung disease

Lung disease affects many workers in Illinois and the rest of the nation. Unfortunately, it has been difficult in the past to spot the earliest signs of this sometimes life-threatening disease. Unless you schedule a CT (computerized axial tomography) scan at the earliest opportunity, the disease might be overlooked until it has advanced to a dangerous degree.

In our Illinois legal practice, we have seen many cases of lung disease. While workers' compensation can and does help those who have contracted work-related lung disease, there are sometimes complications you should know about. Over 100 illnesses fall in the interstitial lung disease family. One thing that can complicate workers' compensation claims is that it may be difficult to determine if the illness arose due to work or from a nonworking environment.

Mesothelioma: What are the early symptoms and signs?

Every year, thousands of individuals are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer typically linked to asbestos exposure. One of the most frightening aspects of mesothelioma is that victims may not show any symptoms until decades after they first inhaled the microscopic asbestos fibers.

So, if you have ever encountered asbestos -- whether recently or many years ago -- you need to familiarize yourself with the early signs and symptoms of mesothelioma, especially since you never know when, or if, this deadly disease will rear its ugly head.

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