Mesothelioma is a scary form of cancer. Every year, there are nearly 3,000 people diagnosed with cancer. In the majority of cases, these patients have a life expectancy of about one year after diagnosis, making it an aggressive and scary form of cancer.
While mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, the high mortality rate is daunting. There are steps you can take to prevent the disease, however.
The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to limit your asbestos exposure — the number one cause of the disease. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of soft and flexible fibers that are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion, making it a very useful resource, but also a very toxic one.
Asbestos was used largely by manufacturing organizations — including some auto parts, construction, fireproofing, electrical component, plastics, textile, and vinyl companies — until recently.
In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of asbestos in new materials, although, unfortunately, the ordinance was largely overturned at a later date. At the same time, the organization called for all schools to be inspected and the asbestos removed.
Despite our knowledge of the dire effects of asbestos exposure and the attempts to stop its use by law, the concerns for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma are still a reality. Asbestos can still be found in the following:
Homes built before 1980. Before this time, asbestos was a material used in the home to help with fireproofing. If your house was built prior to this date, the poisonous material may be found in flooring, plaster, paint, and insulation.
Car parts. Asbestos has been used in a wide variety of auto parts, including brakes, clutches, heat shields, and many other automotive products.
Fireproofing materials. In the past, many of these materials were fully made out of asbestos and were often used by firefighters and first responders.
If you believe you were exposed to asbestos, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with the disease and believe that you were exposed to the material because of negligence, you should seek an attorney to get legal help.
An attorney will be able to help you file a claim and get you the money you deserve — and need — to seek treatment or take care of your family in the event that you can no longer work or your death.