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Understanding the Danger of Asbestos

It is important to keep in mind the statute of limitations if you are injured by products containing asbestos. While the danger of asbestos is well-known, the possibility of exposure to asbestos remains a concern and a health hazard. Understanding asbestos is important to staying safe on the job and in your home.

While asbestos is banned in the United Kingdom, it is still used on a limited basis in the United States. Asbestos-related lawsuits are the longest-running litigation in U.S. history, yet asbestos is still not banned in the country. In fact, products such as the following continue to use asbestos:

  • Roof coatings, roof felt and shingles
  • Various automobile parts, including brake pads, transmission parts, gaskets and coatings
  • Millboard and cement pipes

Asbestos is made from a naturally occurring group of six minerals that have desirable properties, particularly for construction and related fields. Different types of minerals have preferred uses, such as brown or amosite as a fire retardant. Curly or straight, all asbestos fibers are sharp, durable, small and almost invisible in the air. There is no known safe exposure to asbestos of any type.

The primary progressive diseases caused by asbestos exposure are:

  • Asbestosis — Asbestos fibers become lodged in lung tissue and the lung slowly scars over and around the fibers, reducing lung capacity and the ability of the body to absorb oxygen through the lungs. Asbestosis is incurable and eventually leads to oxygen starvation throughout the body.
  • Mesothelioma — While mesothelioma is a rare cancer, it is commonly associated with asbestos exposure. The mesothelium is the tissue lining the outside of internal organs throughout the body cavity. Common sites for mesothelioma are in the chest, thorax and abdomen. Mesothelioma is a relatively fast-moving, fatal cancer.

Since it is not banned, asbestos may be closer than you think. Be aware of the risk, and if you know you are exposed to asbestos or are diagnosed with an asbestos-associated illness, seek reputable legal counsel in Indiana.