Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous element that is highly valued as a durable flame-repellant. Today it can be found in more than 3,000 products—mostly in the construction industry.
Mesothelioma symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pains and coughing. There is no cure, but some mesothelioma treatments can help.
People who have manufactured, installed, or worked with or around asbestos-containing products are at an increased risk of getting mesothelioma. Also at risk are veterans of the U.S. Navy and merchant marines, people who live near asbestos mining areas, asbestos product factories or shipyards where use of asbestos has produced airborne asbestos fibers.
The dangers of asbestos exposure
The dangers of asbestos exposure are now much more widely recognized. Millions of people all over the world (including roughly 8 million in the U.S. alone) have been exposed to asbestos. Once the asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause health problems such as mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, including asbestosis and lung cancer.
Asbestos industry officials in the past made little effort to establish a link. Now, the relationship between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma has been documented.
The length of time an individual survives after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis can oftentimes be measured in months because late detection does not allow for effective treatment.
Workers who were victims of asbestos or their families have filed thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits against the manufacturers of asbestos containing products.