Articles Posted in Asbestos and Mesothelioma

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Asbestos fibers lurk behind our walls and ceilings, in our insulation and within our tiles. Asbestos can lie dormant in the fabric of our clothes and within the weave of our carpets. The danger lies when we inhale. In powder form, asbestos can settle into the mucosal lining of the nasal cavity. Over time, the asbestos may find its way into our chest, lungs and abdomen, and can lead to life-threatening diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and cancer.

Because asbestos fibers are so dangerous, homeowners should never replace their own insulation or fireproofing without the help of a construction expert. Licensed professionals understand the dangers associated with asbestos. Plumbers take precautions to prevent asbestos from attaching to your floors and carpets. Insulation installers take precautions to ensure that your home remains safe from further contamination by taking steps to prevent the powder from crumbling.

Perhaps even more importantly, professionals take steps to ensure that asbestos does not reach our landfills. The disposal of hazardous waste is a serious problem that affects thousands of people each year, and Indiana has laws outlining the proper methods to remove, handle and dispose asbestos. While the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has outlined the state and federal regulations in detail, it “strongly recommends that the asbestos be removed by professional asbestos removal contractors.”

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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.

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We are currently aware of the hazards of asbestos exposure. Asbestos increases the risk for lung cancer, mesothelioma, a rare form of asbestos-related lung cancer, and asbestosis, a chronic inflammatory lung disease.

Use of asbestos is now strictly regulated, as is removal and transportation. Several decades ago, however, asbestos was widely used as an insulator and fire retardant. In industries such as Indiana steel mills, employees often wore asbestos aprons and clothing as protective gear. Construction workers were exposed during demolition or renovation projects. Sometimes the families of these workers were exposed when they had contact with contaminated clothing.

The link between asbestos exposure and serious lung diseases is clearly understood. People diagnosed with these diseases may have the right to sue their employer or the manufacturer for damages under products liability statutes. This can be tricky, however, since Indiana has a strict statute of limitations for bringing such cases: