Things to Do if You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos
Asbestos is a tough, fibrous material that was once widely used in a number of industries. It could be found in textiles, building materials, hot water pipes, and automotive parts such as brakes and heat shields. Asbestos is highly resistant to heat, pressure, and corrosion, which is why it has been so widely used for thousands of years. Unfortunately, it has also proven to be incredibly toxic as it has been linked to mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer.
Asbestos hasn’t been widely used for decades, but it is still possible to encounter the material in older buildings or in factory settings. When asbestos or materials containing asbestos are left undisturbed, the material is relatively harmless. When it is disturbed, it can release microscopic fibers that can be inhaled or ingested. These fibers can remain in your body for years, damaging the linings around your organs and causing serious health problems.
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Consulting a Doctor
If you believe that you’ve been exposed to asbestos, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. This can help you determine if you’re at risk of developing any health problems in the future. The good news here is that a one-time exposure to asbestos likely won’t result in any serious health issues. Most people who develop asbestos-related health conditions have been exposed to asbestos repeatedly and on a regular basis. Furthermore, it usually takes between 10 and 40 years after exposure before most people develop symptoms.
You are more likely to have problems if you’ve worked for a company such as Borg Warner that has been known to use materials containing asbestos. In that case, your doctor would monitor you for symptoms over a period of several years. In any case, it’s always best to speak to your doctor if you have any questions about asbestos exposure or if you have any other concerns about asbestos-related health conditions.
Get a Diagnosis if Symptoms Occur
Regardless of when you were exposed to asbestos or if you’ve spoken with your doctor, you’ll need to be on the lookout for any symptoms that could be related to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses. These symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pains, and a chronic cough. Granted, these symptoms can be applied to a number of health conditions, but you don’t want to take any chances when it comes to asbestos exposure. Speak with your doctor as soon as you suspect anything and get a diagnosis. The sooner you know what’s going on, the sooner you can begin treatment.
Discuss Treatment Options
If it turns out that you do have an asbestos-related illness, your next step is to discuss treatment options with your doctor. There’s no cure for mesothelioma, but there are treatments that will slow its progression and reduce its symptoms. The treatments that will be best for you will depend on how advanced your illness is, but they can include anything from radiation therapy to surgery. Even if your prognosis is particularly grim, treatments such as oxygen therapy can help ease your symptoms even if they can’t do much to slow the spread of the disease.
Consult an Attorney
If your repeated asbestos exposure has resulted in a severe illness, you could be entitled to compensation. An attorney can help determine if this is the case if you provide enough evidence that your illness is the result of asbestos exposure. This usually involves showing that you once worked in a location such as a factory or automotive plant where asbestos exposure was common or that you lived in an older home that may have still contained asbestos.
Financial compensation from an asbestos lawsuit can help cover the costs of treatment, support your family, or make up for lost wages if you are unable to work, so it is well worth your time to speak to an attorney. Belluck & Fox has experience working with cases like this. One of the most known ones is the Borg Warner asbestos exposure.
Even though asbestos hasn’t been widely used in the United States in decades, exposure can still occur. It can cause serious problems for you and your family, so make sure that you see your doctor and consult an attorney if you suspect that your illness can be tied to asbestos exposure.
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