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.
The good news is that there is some information on how long it takes to develop asbestos-related diseases. For example, pleural mesothelioma typically develops between 20 to 50 years after exposure. Knowing this, those exposed to asbestos fibers can begin having regular exams for malignant mesothelioma approximately 20 years following exposure in order to catch it before it spreads dangerously through the pleural tissues.
How long does it take for your risk of mesothelioma to reduce?
The unfortunate part about asbestos exposure is that there is no way to reduce your risk of developing cancers related to it after exposure, even as time passes. The American Cancer Society notes that mesothelioma related to exposure to asbestos does take a long time to develop, but a reduction in exposure will not reduce the likelihood of developing the disease. Instead, the risk of developing mesothelioma is one that lasts a lifetime.
Keep in mind that the more asbestos you’re in contact with, the higher your risk of mesothelioma. So, if you are exposed to it for three days while a coworker is exposed for three hours, your likelihood of mesothelioma developing may be higher due to the length of exposure. This is something to discuss with your attorney as you look into your right to compensation.