Whether you were born and raised in Pittsburgh or, like many, emigrated here from another state or country, you have likely enjoyed the countless amenities life in the Steel City has to offer. From the spectacular view atop Mount Washington to the three rivers below as they sparkle from nighttime lights, from tailgate parties at Heinz Field to the eclectic atmosphere of the Strip District, this city continually ranks high on lists of best places to live in America.
If you were born in "The Burgh," your family may also have a long history associated with the labor unions involved with the railroad, coal mining or steel mill industries. These factories and organizations were key factors in the nation's Industrial Revolution and provided employment opportunities and income to thousands of families through the years. There's another side to all that, however, a much darker side involving hazards associated with asbestos that was often present in the workplace back then.
Are your symptoms related?
Asbestos materials were once common on construction sites and in factories and shipyards because of their fire retardant properties. In addition, many early residential buildings and homes contained asbestos in siding, floor tiles, insulation and other materials.
The problem is that asbestos minerals are also associated with several chronic and terminal illnesses, such as mesothelioma, due to inhalation or ingestion of the microscopic particles contained therein. If you have worked or currently work in an area containing asbestos and experience one or more of the following symptoms, you may want to further investigate the source of your condition:
- Persistent coughing
- Chronic fatigue
- Chest pain
- Unintentional weight loss
- Body aches and pains
- Difficulty breathing
This list includes adverse health issues associated with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lungs that often afflicts people who were exposed to asbestos. Other symptoms that may concern you include hoarseness or wheezing. Symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease often don't present themselves for decades following an initial asbestos exposure. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you are feeling ill but have not worked at your mill or pipe-fitter's job for years now.
Seeking justice in the aftermath of negligence
Doctors diagnose thousands of people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere with mesothelioma every year. Many patients go on to pursue restitution for their suffering by acting alongside experienced personal injury attorneys in court when they believe their employers' negligence led to their illnesses.
Coping with chronic or terminal illness can be extremely challenging. It may bring you great comfort to know there are strong support networks available to help you handle your illness and to pursue justice against those deemed responsible for your suffering.