What is Mesothelioma?


How Do You Get Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a Type of Cancer

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin lining surrounding the lung (pleural membrane) or abdominal cavity (the peritoneum). Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products. Cancer from asbestos does not develop immediately but shows up after a number of years. Studies of workers also suggest that breathing asbestos can increase chances of getting cancer in other parts of the body (stomach, intestines, esophagus, pancreas, and kidneys). Early identification and treatment of any cancer can increase an individual's quality of life and survival.  


Asbestos is a Dangerous Substance

For many years, >asbestos was used as an insulation for homes, buildings, and in manufacturing products and processes. It went into walls, pipes were wrapped with it, and systems were protected by it. Anytime asbestos is displaced, the fibers can get into the air. Asbestos dust and fibers can be pulled into the lungs through normal breathing.  The particles can be so tiny that masks do not protect against them.


Mesothelioma Can Be Prevented

While there are instances where someone could have exposure to asbestos without their knowledge, most cases of mesothelioma can easily be eliminated by removing asbestos from buildings, homes, and the workplace and with the proper safety precautions. If asbestos is removed unsafely, it can cause more harm than leaving it undisturbed. For anyone who works in industries where asbestos was used, it is very important to ensure that asbestos is no longer part of the industry and that any asbestos left behind is remediated following approved methods. That diligence can help prevent cases of mesothelioma in workers and their families.


Mesothelioma Can Develop Many Years After Exposure

Mesothelioma is a cancer that typically has a “latency” period in the body for development.  This means that for many exposed to asbestos in the past, mesothelioma will develop and be diagnosed in the future, not immediately upon exposure. This is also true for the spouses and children of people who worked with asbestos years ago. Workers brought fibers home on their clothing, which exposed their family to the risks of mesothelioma. Sometimes taking up to 50 years to develop, mesothelioma can be eliminated for future generations by no longer using asbestos and by making sure existing asbestos is properly remediated.


Developing Mesothelioma Can Mean Needing a Good Attorney

Workers diagnosed with mesothelioma have brought lawsuits against their employers, the manufacturers of the asbestos products, and the sites where the asbestos was located.  Many companies knew that asbestos was dangerous but did little or nothing to protect those workers exposed. The initial lawsuits served as warnings to the asbestos companies, and afterwards, there is much evidence that they tried to cover up the health effects of asbestos.  The law firm of Wallace & Graham has many years of experience in helping employees who have been injured by occupational exposure to asbestos. We have represented thousands of workers in obtaining compensation for a disease that they should never have incurred.  

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