Asbestos can lead to many dangerous respiratory ailments and diseases. The most common is mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer. It impacts the lining around some of your organs, including your lungs. It can also be found in the abdomen, although those cases are rarer than pulmonary mesothelioma.
If you start looking into these cases, however, you’ll find a trend. Often, it is older adults who are impacted by mesothelioma. They may be in their 60s or 70s. This leads some people to believe that asbestos is only dangerous to the elderly or that mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can only occur in older individuals. Is that really what’s going on?
What is actually happening is simply that there can be a lengthy delay between exposure to asbestos and the onset of mesothelioma. Even the Mayo Clinic says that it can take many years, but this perhaps undersells just how long it can be. There are cases in which it takes decades before people see any symptoms at all. They could be exposed to asbestos at work in their 20s and 30s, and they may not develop mesothelioma until they’re in their 70s. They may believe they haven’t been exposed or that there were no negative ramifications, but it could just be that those medical issues are still in their future.
The role of frailty
Next, you also have to consider that older individuals tend to be a bit more frail or have other health complications. This is part of the reason for their high fatality rates in car accidents, for example. Someone who gets mesothelioma at a later age is more likely to pass away from it, although it is an aggressive type of cancer that can be fatal for any individual.
As such, it’s quite important for those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma to understand all of the legal options they have. This is also true for the families of those who have tragically passed away from this disease.