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Asbestos Attorney and Lawyer


Asbestos Attorney and Lawyer
Asbestos Cases

Manufacturers of asbestos have known for decades that asbestos causes cancer. These companies’ own internal documents reveal a conspiracy to hide the dangers of asbestos exposure from the public to protect their own profits.

The result of this conspiracy is an epidemic of staggering proportions: today asbestos kills thousands more people than skin cancer each year, and nearly the number that are slain in assaults with firearms. The best estimates for asbestos-caused lung cancer deaths over the past two decades range from 5,000 to 10,000 per year (AIA 1980, Nicholson 1982), accounting for between 100,000 and 200,000 fatalities during that time. It is estimated that there will be over 100,000 asbestos related deaths in the next decade.

The Seattle, Washington law firm of Paglialunga & Harris, PS strongly believes that workers and their families deserve compensation to help them manage the severe and often fatal health consequences of working with asbestos. Please contact us by phone or online for a free case evaluation.

For more information:
• What is asbestos?
• How might someone be exposed to asbestos?
• What are the possible health risks of asbestos?
• What is mesothelioma?
• What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
• What is the prognosis for people with mesothelioma?

What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral used in many building materials. Inhalation of fibers can lead to several diseases including cancer. No amount of asbestos is considered safe. The actual development of disease depends on many factors including the amount of asbestos that enters the body, the duration of a person’s exposure, age, family traits and lifestyle habits such as smoking.

How might someone be exposed to asbestos?
People whose work brings them into contact with asbestos—workers who renovate buildings with asbestos in them, for example— may inhale fibers that are in the air: this is called occupational exposure. Workers' families may inhale asbestos fibers released by clothes that have been in contact with ACM: this is called paraoccupational exposure. People who live or work near asbestos-related operations may inhale asbestos fibers that have been released into the air by the operations: this is called neighborhood exposure.

The amount of asbestos a worker is exposed to will vary according to:
• The concentration of fibers in the air
• Duration of exposure
• The worker's breathing rate (workers doing manual labor breathe faster)
• Weather conditions
• The protective devices the worker wears

It is estimated that between 1940 and 1980, 27 million Americans had significant occupational exposure to asbestos.

What are the possible health risks of asbestos?
Once inhaled, the body cannot breakdown or eliminate inhaled fibers. A slow buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs (called asbestosis) can occur. A form of cancer attacking the lining around the lungs, heart or abdomen known as mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure.

What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is not lung cancer. Instead, it is a specific kind of cancer that attacks the lining around the lungs, heart, or abdomen.

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelioma to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.

What is the prognosis for people with mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is serious and life-threatening. By the time cancer is diagnosed the survival time of patients is usually short. Mesothelioma usually spreads throughout the peritoneal or pleural cavity before diagnosis, and complete surgical removal is unlikely. Because of this, the average survival time is only 1 year. If the cancer is found early, approximately 50% of the patients survive 2 years and approximately 20% survive 5 years. Additionally, unlike with other tumors, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not very effective.

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