Asbestos is defined as a chronic inflammatory and fibrotic medical condition which affects the tissues of the lungs. It is commonly caused when an individual inhales and retains asbestos fibers. In most cases, this condition is caused by a high intensity or long-term exposure to asbestos and is regarded as an occupational lung disease.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 125 million individuals throughout the world are exposed to asbestos in the workplace each day. Just in the United States, the American Public Health Association has documented over 9,000 American deaths caused by asbestosis from 1968 to 2005.
At Cory Watson Attorneys, our asbestos lawyers believe that if you or a member of your family have been affected by asbestosis, the victim must be compensated. Our asbestos lawyers will fight as if a member of our own family has been stricken with an asbestos-related illness, and will seek maximum compensation.
Occupations Linked to Asbestos
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. The first official diagnosis of asbestosis was made in 1924. The victim was a textile worker named Nellie Kershaw. Her death ultimately led to the enactment of the first asbestos-related industry regulations in 1932.
Since the 1930s, studies have linked multiple career paths to asbestosis. Some of these careers include:
- Construction worker
- Crane operator
- Forklift operator
- General laborer
- Military serviceman
- Pipe fitter
- Steam fitter
There are several other jobs linked to asbestosis, but these are some of the most common. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, it is important to seek medical attention and look for any of the following signs and symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Asbestos
Typically, signs and symptoms of asbestosis will not appear until several years after an individual has been exposed to asbestos. Once these symptoms begin to appear they generally have a slow onset. In advanced cases, asbestosis can result in respiratory failure. This is because scars form on the lungs causing them to lose their elasticity—or ability to fill properly with oxygen.
The first sign will usually be shortness of breath and increased breathlessness during activities. Some signs and symptoms of asbestosis include:
- Blue color around mouth
- Blue color under nails
- Clubbing of the fingertips
- Sputum production
Even if an individual is briefly exposed to asbestos, it can dramatically increase the risk of that individual developing lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is a rare but fatal cancer in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and chest.
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment that can reverse the damage caused by asbestosis, nevertheless there are treatments focused on slowing the progression that may help people with this condition breathe easier. It is also advised to stop smoking after exposure to any type of asbestos.
Some ways to treat and detect asbestosis include:
- Bronchodilator inhalers
- Chest percussion and vibration
- Exercise programs
- Nebulized medications
- Oxygen therapy
- Respiratory physiotherapy
- Screenings to detect additional hazards
If you believe you are suffering from asbestosis, seek medical attention immediately to receive the medical treatment you need. Doing so will also help your attorneys obtain the necessary medical records to start developing a case against the entity responsible for causing your illness.
Asbestos Lawyers Serving Alabama and Nationwide
At Cory Watson Attorneys, our attorneys can provide the guidance you need to help you and your family. We can lead you through the entire litigation process and address any questions or concerns you have during this difficult time. With more than 30 years of experience, we know the steps necessary to help you get the maximum compensation for your case.
To begin exploring your legal options, call (877) 562-0000 or complete our free initial consultation form. The initial conversation with our 24/7 legal team is always free, and all information will remain confidential with your lawyers.