Asbestos is a natural, fibrous mineral still used in certain industries, but laws have regulated it. Workers in Pennsylvania who get exposed to asbestos have a greater risk of certain diseases. While asbestos is primarily linked to the lung cancer called mesothelioma, it can also cause asbestosis.
Asbestosis is a long-term lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, which scar the lung tissue. While no amount of exposure is safe, it commonly occurs from long-term exposure to asbestos fibers that get disturbed, such as fire or drilling.
Workers are less likely to get exposed because of regulations passed after 1975. However, employees who worked in the mining, shipbuilding, electrical, and railroad industries before then are at greater risk. Household members can also get exposed to asbestos from clothing the worker uses, and some older homes may have it.
Asbestosis symptoms may not show for many decades after exposure, and they vary among patients. Some common ones include decrease in appetite accompanied by weight loss, chronic dry cough, clubbed fingers and toes tips, and chest pain or tightness.
Filing an asbestos claim
Patients commonly have two years to file an asbestos/mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit against an employer, which begins the day after the diagnosis. For wrongful death cases, the time period starts the day after the victim’s death.
Some patients may be able to access special trust funds set aside by companies for asbestos-related diseases. Patients should file cases in the state where the exposure occurred, which may differ from their home state. The plaintiff needs a full medical diagnosis, proof the job exposed them, and a written doctor’s note linking asbestos to the condition.