Pittsburgh Asbestos And Mesothelioma Blog

Asbestos: Who in Pittsburgh is most at risk?

If you've lived in Pittsburgh all your life, you're likely proud of the city's reputation for being one of the friendliest cities in the nation. Perhaps you're an avid Steelers, Pirates or Penguins fan. Like many residents in this city and its surrounding regions, you and your family may take part in the numerous cultural events and festivals that take place at The Point, in the Strip District and other local areas every year.

Living and working in Pittsburgh, however, can place you at risk for certain adverse health conditions, especially those related to asbestos. Beyond this city and other Pennsylvania towns, there are many places in the United States where hidden danger lurks due to microscopic fibers that escape into the air, possibly causing you to suffer illness if you ingest or inhale them. If you're in a high-risk category of people, you'll want to know where to seek support for asbestos-related injuries.

Is asbestos banned in the United States?

Mesothelioma is a serious complication of exposure to asbestos. Being exposed to asbestos doesn't automatically mean that you'll develop this disease, but it does make it more likely.

There are some ways to reduce your likelihood of developing mesothelioma, though. The primary way is by preventing exposure to asbestos. For example, if you are removing insulation from an older home, consider wearing a mask in case the insulation contains asbestos fibers. You can also have an expert come to the property to check for asbestos and to identify if there is a risk of exposure.

Know your rights after asbestos exposure

Asbestos is a dangerous mineral fiber that could become trapped in your lungs or other parts of your body. Once trapped, these fibers can cause scarring that eventually leads to cancer or other complications.

Interestingly, asbestos is naturally found in the soil and rocks. It's all around people all the time, but it's not dangerous. Why?

Hospice care: Things to know about caring for the terminally ill

When a doctor diagnosed your loved one with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis, he or she likely explained that there is currently no cure for such illnesses. As time goes on, symptoms typically worsen. The central focus of care in such situations is palliative in nature, meaning the goal is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible in the time he or she has left.

Hospice care is often a valuable component of caring for a terminally ill loved one. Especially in situations where you know your loved one's illness was preventable were it not for an employer's negligence, it can be emotionally traumatic to try to cope with the situation while doing your best to help your family member live as high quality a life as he or she is able to do.

Who could get mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that often develops as a result of exposure to asbestos. The main risk factor of pleural mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, but that doesn't mean it's the only cause. It may be caused by genetic factors or others, but the likelihood is that if a patient has it, they've been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, at school or in another environment.

Asbestos fibers bury into the lungs and other linings of the body, eventually leading to serious damage. The lungs are scarred, which can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis. It's also possible to suffer from peritoneal mesothelioma, which is mesothelioma that develops in the abdomen. This is a result of coughing fibers out of the lungs and then swallowing them.

What is friability and why is it important to know?

Living and working in Pittsburgh can put you at risk for certain illnesses. This city is a thriving hub of cultural, social and business activity. It's also true that its shipyards, railroads, steel mills and coal mines, among other workplaces, often contain asbestos-laden materials that can be dangerous to human health. Your employer is obligated to warn you of possible exposure to such hazards when aware that they exist in your workplace.

You can also expect your employer to provide proper training, information and any equipment available to keep you and your co-workers as safe as possible on the job. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe, but there are definitely issues that can increase the risk of injury. A key factor is friability. The more you know about it, the better you can protect your and your family's health. If an asbestos injury occurs and you think your employer is liable, you can litigate the issue in court.

Exposed to asbestos? Here's what you should know

If you're working and find out that you've been exposed to asbestos, you may not be sure what you can do to help yourself. You know that exposure can lead to mesothelioma, but is there anything you can do to help prevent it?

If you think that you've been exposed to asbestos, there is a real concern that you could have asbestos fibers in your lungs or other parts of your body. Yes, they have the potential to make you sick. In July 2018, people in New York City were potentially exposed to asbestos due to an explosion from a blast site. Even though the air seemed safe, there was a real concern from many that they could later develop mesothelioma as a result of the fibers launched into the air.

Understand why mesothelioma is hard to identify

Mesothelioma is a serious disease that develops as a result of exposure to asbestos (in most people). The trouble with this form of cancer is that it has very nonspecific symptoms, which can make it hard to diagnose. A difficult diagnosis often means that by the time it is diagnosed, the condition has worsened significantly. Sometimes, there is nothing that the medical providers can do but to help make the patient more comfortable.

Presently, the best way to identify mesothelioma is through a biopsy. It's the only way to guarantee that a diagnosis is accurate, so if your medical provider has not ordered one, it is a good idea to get one as soon as possible. The prognosis, as well as your treatment options, will depend on the diagnosis.

When is asbestos most dangerous?

Contrary to popular belief, asbestos products are not illegal in the United States. Not only do many products currently for sale to consumers contain asbestos, Pennsylvania, in particular, has many industries and structures that place people at great risk for exposure. There's no such thing as a safe amount of asbestos exposure. If you're exposed, you're at risk for injury.

There are situations, however, where you may be able to minimize the possible negative effects of asbestos if it's in your home, school, workplace or elsewhere. The more you know about these microscopic fibers, the better precautions you can take. You should also know that your employer is obligated to inform you if there is asbestos in your workplace and also to provide proper training and safety equipment as needed, to help you avoid injury.

Does your loved one have an asbestos-related terminal illness?

When a Pennsylvania doctor diagnoses a person with a terminal illness, it affects not only that person, but his or her family as well. If you are the spouse or adult child of someone who is suffering from an incurable disease, you may spend a lot of time wondering what you can do (or what you shouldn't do) to help him or her live as high quality a life as possible in the time he or she has left.  

If you're one of many caretakers whose loved one's illness is related to asbestos exposure, you likely have other issues on your mind as well, such as what type of recourse your family member has to seek compensation for damages if employer or manufacturer negligence was a causal factor in the events that resulted in his or her illness. As for what you might do to assist your loved one, others who have taken care of terminally ill patients say there are several ideas to consider.  

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Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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