Do often tell your kids or grand-kids stories about your years as a Pittsburgh pipefitter, railroad worker or coal miner? You may have worked for decades at the same Pennsylvania factory, shipyard or steel mill; in fact, you may have been one in a long line of family members to do the same. This city is known as a hub for blue collar workers.
Sadly, many retired workers have added other details to the tales they tell their families — details that speak of ill-health and incurable disease. Throughout their careers, there was danger lurking in the workplace, danger their employers knew existed. However, greed and power took precedence over the safety and well-being of the worker. If your health is in decline and you believe it may be related to asbestos exposure, read on.
There is no safe amount of exposure
Asbestos is the microscopic fibers that fill the air if materials containing the fibers crumble or someone disturbs it through scraping, pounding or tearing. If you have ingested or inhaled these particles, then your health is at risk. The following information further explains dangers associated with asbestos:
- It causes several incurable diseases, including mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.
- Asbestos-related illness does not typically present immediately apparent symptoms.
- Your doctor may have difficulty diagnosing your condition.
- It is important to tell your physician your work history if you think your symptoms connect with your past or present career.
If you have a lingering, dry cough or suffer chest pain, there may be an underlying cause. If you have difficulty breathing or feel fatigued, and have experienced a significant loss of appetite, it definitely warrants medical examination because these are often symptoms of asbestos injury. It often helps to write a list of symptoms and other information that you think your doctor may find pertinent.
What to do after diagnosis
Many asbestos illnesses are terminal; as such, treatment is palliative. As time goes on, your symptoms will undoubtedly worsen, and you will need to rely on your family or licensed care providers to help you function on a daily basis. You can hopefully live as high quality a life as possible. You may also want to talk to someone who is well-versed in asbestos litigation. Many Pennsylvania workers who have gone through similar experiences have sought legal accountability against those whose negligence caused their injuries.