Posts Tagged ‘industries affected by mesothelioma’

Seeking Legal Help, Part 2 of 2

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

On our blog last week, we looked at why mesothelioma victims sometimes turn to the legal system for help. But many mesothelioma victims are hesitant to take action, because they are unfamiliar with the legal process, and the prospect of dealing with a legal battle may seem insurmountable given their physical condition. In truth, the process is more simple than you may imagine.

First, it is critical to select a lawyer carefully. Be sure that you understand who will actually be handling your case. Sometimes people hire a lawyer, not realizing that their case will be handed off to someone else. Finding this out after the contract is signed can be an unwelcome surprise at a difficult time.

Be sure to inquire into the case history and success record in handling mesothelioma cases. While a great track record does not guarantee success in your case, it does speak to the lawyer’s level of expertise and point to how they have handled similar cases. To better understand the magnitude of some asbestos cases, visit the asbestos lawsuit article.

You’ll also want to consider where your case will be tried. The scope of victims rights to compensation vary from state to state. While some states significantly restrict an injured person’s rights to these claims, other states, such as Texas, are known for speedy and fair trials. Speedy trials are especially important to victims who may have only a few months to live.

Finally, arm yourself with knowledge and support. Provided your health allows, do all the research you can about the causes of mesothelioma, mesotheioma victim’s rights and industries affected by mesothelioma. Research other cases like yours and the results of those trials. Rally your family and friends around you for support. Ask for the help you need (both logistically and emotionally) to take the next step. With the support of family and friends and an excellent lawyer, the resolution of your case may well bring some relief in a very difficult and challenging time. If you want more information about a possible suit or settlement, please fill out our online form.

 

Veterans With Mesothelioma

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

United States veterans have sacrificed a great deal so that the citizens of our country could continue to have the quality of life we often take for granted. The collective heroism, bravery, risk and sacrifice of this group are extraordinary. Sadly, it is this group that are also most affected by mesothelioma. That’s because for many years, the U.S. Military used asbestos widely in many applications. Likely as a result of this high level of exposure, veterans make up roughly 30% of all mesothelioma patients.

From the 1930’s to the 1970’s, the U. S. Military used over 300 products containing asbestos, some of them mandated for use because of their fire-retardant properties. In the Air Force, these mesothelioma-linked materials were used with brakes, heat shields, wiring and insulation. In the Army, asbestos was used in buildings as well as parts of vehicles. In the Coast Guard, many areas of the ship including the boiler room and engine were coated with asbestos insulation to prevent fire. Asbestos was also used in ropes. Marines were exposed to asbestos in ships and on land, as asbestos was used widely in both ship building and virtually every military installation. In some cases, enlisted men also participated in asbestos disposal, resulting in further exposure to the toxic material.

In particular, former Naval veterans and Naval shipyard workers have one of the highest risks of developing asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. The material was used with boilers, gaskets, valves, and floor and pipe coverings in the engine and boiler rooms, navigation rooms, sleep quarters, and mess halls. In fact, there were practically no areas of Naval ships that were free of asbestos.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does consider applications for benefits when a veteran has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and can prove that the asbestos exposure happened during their service. Even then the VA may not approve the claim. It is extremely helpful to get advice before submitting an application for benefits to the VA. If you or someone you know is a veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma, we encourage you to fill out our online form.

 

Study Highlights DIY Risks of Mesothelioma

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

A recent study in Australia confirmed that without certain precautions, do-it-yourself home renovation in homes build prior to 1980 may lead to increased risk of mesothelioma.

Australia has some of the strictest regulations on the uses of asbestos. In general, Australian workers in industries affected by mesothelioma tend to be well organized and vocal when it comes to protecting their health and safety. Lately, concern has been raised over risks of exposure to asbestos associated with home renovation. Results from a recent study published by researchers at the University of Western Australia provide evidence that the concern may be well warranted.

The study identified the primary source of asbestos in each confirmed mesothelioma case in Western Australia between 1960 and 2008, and analyzed the results for insights into the relative risk of certain activities. The results showed a marked increase since 1980 in the incidence of asbestos exposure through renovation. The study also showed that, in the last 4 years, approximately 36% of women and 9% of men diagnosed with mesothelioma identified home renovation as their primary source of asbestos exposure.

The results of this study are relevant in any part of the world. As homes built before 1980 begin to show signs of wear, they are being renovated more frequently. A large percentage of these homes were built using products that contain asbestos. Demolition, sanding, and drilling can disturb and release toxic dust from hidden asbestos, putting workers and homeowners at risk for developing mesothelioma.

The EPA has guidelines for identifying and addressing asbestos in the home, including information about where asbestos can be found, when it can be a problem, and how to identify materials containing asbestos. The EPA also lists “Asbestos Do’s and Don’t for the Homeowner” that give some valuable guidelines for home repairs, renovations and asbestos disposal.

 

The History of Asbestos

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Although archaeologists have found evidence of asbestos almost 3000 years ago, the first known common uses of asbestos occurred in ancient Greece. The fibers were frequently woven into the clothing made for slaves until the fire resistant properties of the material became known. At that point, asbestos material quickly became regarded almost as valuable as gold. The Greeks also used asbestos fibers in royal clothing, table linens, and insulation for ovens. The ancient Romans were also aware of the material’s properties, using asbestos in construction, head dressings, and in table linens. The Romans would toss soiled napkins into the fire and then remove them to reveal the clean surface. The dangers of asbestos were also documented at this time. In fact, a Roman doctor named Pliny the Elder noted that the slaves who worked in asbestos mines developed a “sickness of the lung” which may well have been mesothelioma.

The history of asbestos shows that uses of asbestos began to decline after the fall of Rome. It was not until the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s that use of asbestos really took off on a global scale. As more factories were opened, asbestos was commonly used as insulation against the high temperatures generated by the steam-powered machines. Asbestos was also used to insulate pipes, turbines, ovens and kilns. As the demand for asbestos increased, more asbestos mines were opened, and by the turn of the century, doctors were reporting illnesses of the lungs in mine workers. However, these early health concerns about the material did not slow its use as asbestos was continuously used as an insulator in the construction of trains, ships, and automobiles. It was also used in housing construction in siding, cement and insulation.

As early as the 1920’s, medical research began to show a link between asbestos and certain types of cancer. Some asbestos manufacturers took actions to hide the truth about mesothelioma-linked materials from public awareness. However, in the 1970’s the dangers of asbestos finally became known to the public, and the U.S., along with many other countries, began to create and enforce regulations that limited the use of asbestos in the interest of public health.

Unfortunately, people who worked in the industries affected by mesothelioma did not find out about their own illness until decades later. Mesothelioma victims often experience no symptoms until decades after their exposure to asbestos. By the time a diagnosis is made, victims of mesothelioma sometimes have only months to live. While taking legal action against negligent companies was initially difficult due to the many years between exposure and symptoms, courts in many states can be sympathetic to the needs of mesothelioma victims and generally supportive of their right to compensation.

 

File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Mesothelioma is a very challenging disease. Not only does the disease cause pain and suffering, it also can leave families in financial stress. By the time most people who have mesothelioma are diagnosed, the large majority is either retired or unable to work due to symptoms of the disease. Many mesothelioma victims are therefore left dealing with a lack of income combined with high medical bills, and many face the additional challenge of having no health insurance. As a result, many victims of mesothelioma seek legal settlements to take care of these expenses.

When considering pressing a legal suit against a company that made or handled asbestos products unsafely, many people question their right to legal compensation. Public knowledge of the dangers of asbestos has existed for hundreds of years, becoming very well publicized in the US in the 1920’s and 30’s. Unfortunately, the industries affected by mesothelioma include many companies who chose not to protect their workers, despite these risks. As a result, in many cases, mesothelioma victim’s rights also include legal compensation.

Many mesothelioma victims have never engaged in a legal suit. When seeking legal assistance, there are a few guidelines that will help greatly. When selecting a lawyer, make sure that the lawyer you are talking to will be the one handling your case, and not handing your case off to someone else. Be sure to check the lawyer’s track record with similar mesothelioma cases to confirm that they are consistently successful with this type of case. Also, the location in which you file your case can make a difference in the result. While some state laws are generally supportive of victims’ rights to compensation, others can be very restrictive.

A concern for many families when considering a law suit is whether they can handles the physical stress of legal appointments and court appearances. Fortunately, most lawyers who are experienced in these types of cases are very sensitive to the needs of victims and their families, and do their best to handle most things by phone. For more information about your legal rights, please contact us at 1-888-370-0121, or complete our online form.

 

MARF Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

September 26th was National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, and all over the country, groups and organizations planned events to call attention to the disease mesothelioma and pay tribute to its victims. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation started Mesothelioma Awareness Day in 2004.

According to Maja Belarmic, the foundation’s Director of Outreach, the disease is not getting the attention it deserves because of its rarity. The foundation hopes to raise money to fund research, develop better treatments, and hopefully a cure. Currently, the most effective approved mesothelioma treatment may extend life for an average of three months.

Not only have there been few breakthroughs in the early detection and treatment of mesothelioma, but also the likely cause of mesothelioma, asbestos, is still relatively widespread. According to the foundation, the nation is likely to see an increased rate of cases as a result of the September 2001 collapse of the Twin Towers, which released hundreds of tons of asbestos into the air. While asbestos presents little danger when left undisturbed, when asbestos fibers become friable (released into the air), they can then be inhaled into the lungs, where then can cause great damage depending on the type of asbestos, length and level of exposure and other factors.

While the last four decades have seen regulations with regard to the handling and uses of asbestos, asbestos is not banned in the United States, a fact that has been a point of debate.

In 2007, “Meso Awareness Day” raised over $4 million dollars toward research and treatment of the disease. The day has gained momentum every year since it’s beginning, so this years fundraising is likely to well exceed that amount.

In some cases, victims have developed mesothelioma as a result of working in industries affected by mesothelioma. In these cases, victims are sometimes awarded settlement to help compensate for expensive medical bills, as well the pain and suffering incurred by the victim and their loved ones. To find out more about possible compensation for victims of mesothelioma, visit our Mesothelioma Victim’s Rights page or fill out our online form, and we will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

Asbestos Use Widespread In India

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has been researching the global asbestos trade since 2009. As you are likely well aware, asbestos is the cancer-causing mineral that is a leading cause of mesothelioma, a devastating form of cancer. While asbestos is restricted in most industrialized nations, it is still distributed and somewhat aggressively marketed in developing countries.

In conjunction with BBC’s International News Services, the ICIJ launched an advanced documentation campaign in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia and the United States to research and distribute information about the asbestos industry. In a new article published through “Dangers in the Dust: Inside the Global Asbestos Trade,” the project’s website, reporters addressed head-on the widespread use of asbestos in Indian construction and manufacturing today.

Sheets of asbestos are cost-effective for use in construction, and entire dusty factories in India are dedicated to producing this highly demanded, yet lethal time bomb of a product. Experts believe the foundation has been laid for an emerging epidemic for illnesses related to asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, throughout India. The government is aware of these dangers, but it is against politicians’ best interest to interfere with a trade that provides needed materials and jobs in India’s rapidly growing economy. India now maintains the second largest asbestos market worldwide, behind China. Products containing asbestos bear no warning labels, and the lobbyists and activists fighting for change have had little success because the asbestos market legitimately serves the livelihoods of tens of thousands of residents, many of them poor.

Meanwhile, asbestos has been strictly limited or banned in 52 developed nations— its use is completely banned in the European Union. Believe it or not, the mineral is still utilized legally in the United States for the manufacture of designated products including car brakes and gun parts. For more information about asbestos exposure in consumer products and workplaces, and the ways mesothelioma develops via asbestos exposure, consider contacting a qualified  mesothelioma law firm.

Industries Affected By Mesothelioma

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that attacks the lining of various organs and body areas like the heart, abdomen and lungs. It is sometimes called “asbestos cancer” due to asbestos exposure being the overwhelming cause of Mesothelioma in the United States. There is no known cure for Mesothelioma.

Due to asbestos being a mineral that was used in thousands of products, from floor tiles to household appliances, for many years, several industries have been affected by it. Workers in industries (like ship building, construction and others) that used these products may have been exposed to asbestos. When disturbed, asbestos releases tiny fibers that, when inhaled, travel deep into the lungs and cause scarring (asbestosis). Besides causing Mesothelioma, exposure to these asbestos fibers can also cause colon cancer, lung cancer and larynx cancer.

The Ship Building Industry and Mesothelioma

During WWII was the peak of asbestos use in the ship building industry, since the demand for ships was at an all-time high. Commonly used to insulate engines, pipes, gaskets and boilers to prevent heat gain or loss, asbestos was lightweight and therefore quite useful in ships.

The Construction Industry and Mesothelioma

Commonly used as insulation (both general and around piping and boilers) or to increase the tensile strength of concrete pillars and slabs, asbestos was used in building construction up until the mid-1970s. Workers were exposed to airborne, easily-inhaled asbestos particles from the Great Depression until the 1970s since asbestos was commonly applied in spray form. But even today, asbestos is still commonly used as a strengthening additive in cement as well as in slating, tile and roofing.

The General Industry and Mesothelioma

Auto repair shops, especially ones that specialize in brake in clutch repair, are the most common example of general industry asbestos exposure. This is due to asbestos being used for decades in break drums, clutches and break pads. So when brakes and clutches are being repaired, there is a risk for Mesothelioma.

If you are a Mesothelioma victim, or if you’re the loved one of a Mesothelioma victim, you may want to consider seeking legal help to get the compensation you deserve for your suffering. To find out more about industries affected by Mesothelioma, call 1-888-370-0121.