As a person with mesothelioma, you're in a difficult situation. You may survive for a long time with this disease, but there are no guarantees. The disease, as it progresses, is painful and suffocating.
As someone who worked with asbestos in the past, you may worry that you could develop an illness in the future as a result. In the meantime, you don't know when the illness might suddenly appear but want to take steps to address it as soon as possible.
If you're one of hundreds of people in Pittsburgh and surrounding Pennsylvania regions who have recently learned they have mesothelioma, you likely have experienced a wide range of emotions regarding not only your present condition but your future, your family and more. You may have suspected that something was wrong for quite a while before your doctors diagnosed your condition; perhaps, you had a lingering cough or chest discomfort that was dragging you down.
Mesothelioma may not be exactly what you think it is. As someone who has been recently diagnosed, you might think it's just another kind of cancer. However, it's typically caused by inhaling asbestos, which could mean that a past employer can be held liable for your current condition. The condition can take many years to form in the body, so you may never be ill when you're on the job.
Whether you were born and raised in Pittsburgh or another Pennsylvania town, you or someone you know may have been adversely affected by microscopic fibers in asbestos products. There is no such thing as safe asbestos exposure. While evidence exists to suggest that symptoms of asbestos-related diseases may take a long time to surface, there is no way of knowing how much exposure or how often it takes to contract an asbestos injury.
Asbestos, a heat-resistant, fibrous silicate mineral has many purposes. It can be used as a fire-resistant or insulating material. It can be woven into materials, too. The trouble is that it has the potential to be extremely dangerous if inhaled.
Like many Pennsylvania residents, especially those who once worked in the steel mills or coal factories in Pittsburgh, you may have been shocked and saddened when you learned that your employer knew you were at great risk for terminal illness but failed to fulfill the obligation to keep you safe. If you're suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, it may have been years before you found out the source of your symptoms.
You worked in the steel industry for many years, which is why it's not necessarily surprising that you've developed mesothelioma. It took time to get a proper diagnosis, but now that you have it, you want to know what you can do to protect yourself and loved ones along with getting compensation for the asbestos exposure that led to your illness.