As mesothelioma lawyers, we get a lot of questions from clients and other people about asbestos. This article answers eight of the most commonly asked questions about asbestos.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a general name given to six natural minerals. These minerals are:
The most common of the six are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite.
What is Asbestos Exposure?
Someone is said to have been exposed to asbestos if they breathe in asbestos fibers. Asbestos exposure usually occurs when products containing asbestos are disturbed. If, for example, a rock containing asbestos is disturbed, it will release asbestos fibers.
Who is at Risk for Asbestos Exposure?
Since asbestos has been used for many years and in many products, almost everyone is at risk of asbestos exposure. However, individuals who worked directly with this toxic substance or spent a significant amount of time around it will have more exposure. Some of the occupations most at risk for asbestos exposure include;
- Construction workers
- Shipyard workers
- Industrial and power plant workers
How Do I Identify Asbestos?
Unfortunately, it can be hard to identify asbestos because, often, it is mixed with other materials. It can also be challenging to tell whether a material contains asbestos by just looking at it unless it has a label. Whenever you are in doubt, it is advisable that you treat a product or material as though it contains asbestos. You can also have a product or material sampled and analyzed by an expert.
What Materials are Common Asbestos-Containing Materials?
Even though asbestos is no longer mined or processed in the U.S., it can still be found in, among many others, the following materials;
- Brake pads
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Cement pipes
- Roofing material
- Roofing shingles
- Fireproofing materials
- Cement siding
- Exterior building materials
- Duct connectors
- Ashtray coasters
- Fake snow
- Cigarette filters
- Wicking for gas ranges
- Talcum powder
What Should I Do if I Believe I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos?
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, you should see a doctor as soon as you can. Unfortunately, asbestos exposure can cause severe health conditions. For example, asbestos can cause mesothelioma and asbestosis.
How Common are Asbestos-Related Diseases?
The American Cancer Society estimates that there are about 2,000 to 3,000 mesothelioma diagnoses in the U.S. every year. Lung cancer, which can also develop because of several other reasons, affects about 61 out of every 100,000 Americans a year.
What Amount of Asbestos Exposure Can Cause an Asbestos-related Disease?
Any amount of exposure can cause an asbestos-related disease. Generally, no amount of asbestos exposure is safe. However, individuals who have been exposed to asbestos for a long time or who have breathed in large amounts of asbestos for extended periods of time have the highest risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.