People in Pennsylvania who worked in certain industries in the 1970s and earlier may have been exposed to asbestos on the job. Their families may have been exposed as well since the employees might have carried asbestos fibers home on their clothing. As a result of asbestos exposure, people can develop lung problems, including lung cancer.
Health problems from asbestos exposure
Mesothelioma is a rare kind of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, and it can be caused by asbestos. A serious lung condition, asbestosis, is also caused by asbestos. Many homes and buildings built in the past contain asbestos, which might be used in such materials as insulation or floor tiles. In general, asbestos is only a danger when it is disturbed. However, damage, remodeling, or even normal wear and tear can release enough asbestos to cause illness.
Why asbestos fibers are dangerous
One of the dangers of asbestos fibers is that they are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. They can be breathed in and caught in lung tissue, the nose, throat, or digestive tract. It may take decades for the exposure to affect health.
Likelihood of illness
People who worked in the mining, construction, and shipbuilding industries as well as firefighters and people who were in the military all may have been exposed to asbestos on the job. How much asbestos exposure a person receives as well as other factors, such as whether or not a person smokes, may also affect whether they develop an asbestos-related disease.
Families may not know what steps to take when one of them develops a disease caused by asbestos, especially decades after the employment that caused it. A person who is in this situation may want to contact an attorney to discuss whether he or she is eligible for compensation and how to proceed.