Pittsburgh is one of the blue-collar capitals of the world. From steel workers to pipe-fitters, railroad workers and shipyard employees, its history is rich in factory employment and manual labor jobs. The problem is those characteristics have also caused Pittsburgh residents and workers to be at risk for asbestos-related illnesses. Asbestos contains microscopic fibers that pose a danger to your health if you breathe them in or ingest them during exposure.
The thing about asbestos is that it doesn't usually cause harm if left undisturbed. When you crumble it or it disintegrates (perhaps due to wetness or other issues), the micro fibers are released into the surrounding atmosphere, placing you or anyone else nearby at risk. Mesothelioma is a rare but devastating and incurable cancer associated with asbestos exposure. If you show symptoms of this disease, the care you receive may be directly related to how well you understand your rights and what type of support you secure.
History of asbestos and resulting negative consequences
Before the 1990s, manufacturers often included asbestos in their products because of its fire retardant and insulating properties. Many older buildings and homes in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania still contain asbestos. In time, the government enacted laws banning most uses of asbestos. There are also strict regulations regarding removal of such products from existing structures.
Why some people contract Mesothelioma and others don't
Not every person exposed to asbestos gets Mesothelioma. In fact, most don't. Studies suggest a strong immune system may help offset such illnesses. Consequently, a weakened immune system may leave a particular person more prone to asbestos-related disease or any illness, for that matter.
Symptoms not always apparent right away
If you suffer illness because of asbestos exposure, evidence of your disease may not surface for a long time. This is because mesothelioma, asbestosis and other illnesses tend to develop slowly, over time, after asbestos particles lodge in the lungs. Perhaps you have a lingering cough or always feel fatigued but don't know why. If you suffered exposure to asbestos, you may want to seek immediate medical attention to diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms.
Where to go from there
Sadly, there are no known cures for many asbestos-related illnesses and cancers. If you suffer from an asbestos-related illness, you have the right to seek as full a recovery as possible, which may include seeking compensation for damages in court. Acting alongside experienced guidance is generally the best means for obtaining a positive outcome.