Pittsburgh Asbestos And Mesothelioma Blog

Understanding pleural effusion

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, is not always dangerous to humans. However, when it's breathed into the lungs or enters the stomach lining, it can embed itself, cause scarring and lead to cancer.

There are many different diseases people may suffer as a result of exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma and asbestosis are two, but others include lung cancer, diffuse plural thickening and pleural effusion.

Asbestos: Be aware of where you might find it in Pittsburgh

You can't see something that is microscopic, that is, unless you have a microscope on hand. Danger often lurks in Pittsburgh and other Pennsylvania cities because of microscopic asbestos fibers that exist in many homes, schools, commercial buildings and other locations. Exposure can cause terminal illness, and it is nearly impossible for you to know if you are in an area where there's asbestos. However, there is a higher likelihood in certain places, and it pays to know more about this.

Especially if you work in a school or older building, your employer is obligated to inform you if there is asbestos on site. Your employer must also provide proper training to help keep you and your fellow co-workers safe. If you believe you or your loved one has contracted an asbestos-related illness, you may want to discuss the situation with someone well-versed in asbestos litigation. In the meantime, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about where you might find asbestos.

Exposure to asbestos in the military can lead to mesothelioma

Did you know that veterans are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma than others in the general population? This is the reality for veterans due to their exposure to asbestos on a more regular basis.

Today, veterans who develop this cancer can ask for compensation through the Veterans Association. Disability benefits can be awarded if you have an illness caused by coming into contact with asbestos. However, you'll need to show that:

  • You did not receive a dishonorable discharge
  • You did come into contact with asbestos while you were in the military

Medical treatments for injured Pittsburgh workers and families

If you, your spouse or other loved one receive a dire diagnosis from a licensed physician, it can be quite a daunting experience, especially if the disease in question has no known cure. Beyond your diagnosis, your family would typically have many unanswered questions in mind, such as what type of treatment you will seek and how you will meet the expenses associated with the situation.

You might also talk about additional outside support, such as in-home care providers or, in many cases, legal advocates who understand the options that might be available regarding how to seek recompense for your losses. When a patient contracts an illness due to workplace hazards, other questions often arise as well, such as whether or not an employer's negligence was a causal factor toward the injury. In Pennsylvania, scenarios like this often involve on-the-job asbestos exposure.

Asbestos: Once banned but now present in the United States

If you're worried about asbestos still being used in America, you're not alone. Many people were under the impression that asbestos was no longer legal. However, it is, and since that's the case, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find out where asbestos is used and how to avoid it.

Asbestos has long been used in insulation since it has properties that keep structures comfortable. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned some uses of asbestos in 1973, and in 1989, it went on to ban most asbestos products. Around the world, over 55 countries ban asbestos. However, that's no longer the case in America. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ban of asbestos, officially allowing it to be used in certain products ever since.

What is peritoneal mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer, can affect the lungs, abdomen or heart. While most people discuss how it affects a person's breathing, it can also take a toll on other organs, specifically the abdomen and heart.

Called peritoneal mesothelioma, this form of mesothelioma develops in the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdomen. It is caused by ingesting asbestos fibers instead of breathing them in. Sometimes, the cancer develops as the fibers cause cancer in the lungs, which then spreads to the peritoneum.

Pennsylvania workers in these industries face asbestos risks

Most people consider Pennsylvania a blue collar state, especially cities like Pittsburgh. There are many thriving industries in this state and households are largely comprised of the working class. There are certain jobs in this state and others that place workers and their families at great risk for asbestos-related injuries. If you or one of your family members works in a high-risk location, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about asbestos and its potential harm to human health.

Doctors often have trouble diagnosing asbestosis, mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases mainly because symptoms often remain hidden for a long time after an initial exposure to asbestos-laden materials. That's why it's critical to know which jobs pose the highest risk for injury and where to seek support if you suspect that going to work has made you or your loved one sick.

Asbestosis: Another risk from asbestos

When people think about diseases that arise from asbestos exposure, the most common disease brought up is mesothelioma. However, this is not the only disease that can arise from asbestos exposure. Another dangerous disease that asbestos exposure can lead to is asbestosis.

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease, which is caused by inhaling fibers of asbestos. The fibers get trapped in the lungs. They cause shortness of breath, scarring and other symptoms.

Family members of Pittsburgh workers at risk for asbestos injury

A lot more information regarding the dangers of asbestos is available nowadays than existed three or four decades ago. Back then, if you were a factory worker or earned a living in a Pittsburgh steel mill, shipyard or coal mine, you might not have known that, every time you reported to work, you were at risk for certain cancers and asbestos-related illnesses. In fact, you might not have even known what asbestos was or the potential risks it poses to human health.

Nowadays, most employers in factories, railroads and other high-risk industries understand that there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure. Employers have an obligation to provide all information, training and safety equipment available to help keep workers safe. The problem is that it's not only the workers themselves who are in danger. Family members who wait for them at home can also suffer serious health conditions due to asbestos in their loved ones' work environments.

Secondhand exposure can lead to mesothelioma

As the child of someone who worked with asbestos, you may want to know that secondary exposure could lead to your own health issues. Secondhand exposure can result when a parent or other party has asbestos fibers on their clothing, skin or hair.

Here's a good example of how secondhand asbestos exposure could occur. Imagine a child waiting for a parent to come home from work. That parent works with asbestos, so their clothing contains the fibers. Their skin is covered in fibers, too. Even their hair contains it.

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