No one knows the exact figures, but it’s estimated that asbestos-related diseases kill an estimated 12,000-15,000 Americans each year. Even so, Asbestos remains legal and widely used in many industries.
Many companies have established asbestos trust funds to compensate victims of asbestos exposure related lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Currently, there are more than $30 Billion in trust funds that have been made available through the United States bankruptcy court system with new bankruptcy trust funds being made available every year.
Depending on your work history and the various different asbestos products you may have been exposed to, you or a loved one may have access to many different trust funds for your lung cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis.
It is important to understand that an asbestos exposure related injury such as lung cancer may not present itself for 10-50 years after the initial asbestos exposure due to the long latency period associated with asbestos exposure diseases.
Furthermore, there are critical time limitations you need to be aware of in order to assert your legal rights and recover compensation.
These time limitations are known as the statute of limitations and begin after you become aware of a lung cancer diagnosis or a family member has passed away due to their lung cancer diagnosis.
It is important to have an experienced asbestos exposure legal team to recover all the compensation available to you for your asbestos exposure claims.
Learn more about how your diagnosis of lung cancer may have been caused by asbestos exposure occurring many years ago during your work in high-risk industries associated with asbestos exposure or in your home.
Asbestos was used in commercial products in nearly every industry:
- Construction and renovation
- Electrical insulation
Asbestos minerals have a wide range of uses in construction. The material, for example, is lauded for its fire and heat resistance, tensile strength, insulation, and cost.
Asbestos remained unregulated in the U.S. until the late 1970s and 1980s. During this time, substantial medical research was conducted that showed a clear link between asbestos and range of health hazards, including mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
In 1989, the EPA banned all new uses of asbestos — many uses developed prior to 1989 are not illegal.
Asbestos is classified as known human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prolonged and repeated asbestos exposure has been identified as one of the main causes of mesothelioma (cancer that develops in the lining of organs such as lungs and abdomen).
Since the 1940s, the U.S. government estimates millions of American workers have been exposed to cancer-causing asbestos.
Asbestos has also been linked to a number of illnesses, including lung cancer, which accounts for 1 in 4 cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.
“Unfortunately, many people who have been diagnosed with lung cancer do not realize that their illness was caused by asbestos exposure.”
The long latency period of asbestos-caused cancer also makes it difficult for patients to recognize the link between asbestos exposure and their diagnoses. Asbestos-caused lung cancer can develop over a period of 10-50 years, with little to no symptoms, this is known as the diseases latency period.
Ultimately, the asbestos exposure that occurred much earlier in life — on a job site, in the home, or through contact with asbestos products — may be the underlying cause.
Following a lung cancer diagnosis, there is hope. If you suspect and can identify that your lung cancer was caused by long-term asbestos exposure, you are entitled to compensation from asbestos trust funds and civil lawsuits.
Were You Exposed to Asbestos Throughout Your Work History?
The United States is one of the few remaining developed nations that has yet to ban asbestos, leaving millions at risk of developing asbestos-related cancers. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 occupational cancer deaths are linked to asbestos exposure.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has identified more than 75 occupational groups that are at risk to asbestos-related diseases. The risk is particularly high for construction, railroad, shipbuilding, manufacturing and mining workers.
Many U.S. Veterans also face a heightened risk, as asbestos was a widely used insulating material in shipbuilding and construction operations.
During the asbestos boom years, from the 1940s to the 1980s, the risk for asbestos exposure reached a peak resulting in millions of people being subject to the risk of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos products were once fully in use with people working in the at-risk industries for asbestos exposure actually playing with the substance, freely breathing it in, and carrying the asbestos fibers home.
The liability of the asbestos exposure industry lies in the fact that many within the industry knew of the huge risk to the health of their employees and continued to use the products regardless to reach their business related goals.
Were You Exposed to Asbestos in Your Home?
People who have worked in high-risk industries associated with asbestos exposure have been known to take home the asbestos from their work site on their skin, clothing, or equipment, resulting in family members being secondarily exposed to asbestos when they come into contact with the asbestos fibers.
These family members who may have been exposed to asbestos in the home doing the laundry or touching skin or other equipment may also decades later develop asbestos exposure related diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Many states recognize a right for these family members to obtain compensation from the parties liable for creating the risk of asbestos exposure and resulting take-home asbestos exposure.
Asbestos was also commonly used in the commercial and residential properties built before 1980 and you may have been directly exposed to asbestos-containing products in your home. There is a long list of asbestos-containing products. The material was used in:
- Floor tiles
If your home or place of work was built before 1980, there’s a likely chance asbestos products remain. This is problematic. When disturbed — for example, a floor tile is chipped or a wallboard removed — the asbestos fibers can be released and become airborne, increasing the likelihood of accidental exposure.
Home repairs and public property renovations can be potentially hazardous for asbestos exposure. Often, asbestos-containing materials must be removed by specialists to prevent accidental exposure.
Am I At a High Risk for Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer?
According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, there is “no level of asbestos exposure below which clinical effects do not occur.” In other words, there are no safe levels of exposure to asbestos; a single incidence has the potential to cause lung cancer.
Even so, the Centers for Disease Control outlines factors that may increase the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. They include:
Dose: The amount of asbestos you were exposed to has an impact on your risk. High-volume exposure heightens the risk of developing an asbestos-related illness.
Duration: Repeated and prolonged exposure to asbestos has been shown to increase the instance of asbestos-related disease.
Type of Asbestos: The type and chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers you came into contact with may increase health risks. All types of asbestos can cause related diseases, for example, but some speculate that blue and brown asbestos may be the most dangerous.
Source of Exposure: Asbestos fibers can be inhaled or swallowed on direct or indirect exposure. The way in which you were exposed may increase the risk of developing illnesses.
Individual Factors: Smokers and those with pre-existing lung illnesses may be at a heightened risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
Ultimately, understanding the signs and symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses can lead to early detection. Like all lung cancers, mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung diseases have telltale symptoms. They include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent dry cough
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Ultimately, a cancer diagnosis places immense emotional and financial burdens on patients and their families. But there is hope. For one, cancer treatment has greatly improved in recent years.
Lung cancer treatment centers and clinics are available in every major metropolitan area in the U.S. Plus, victims have numerous options for recovering financial compensation to cover treatment costs, including asbestos trust funds, lawsuits, and VA benefits.