Asbestos-related disease is a severe problem that affects many people. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure or the potential for developing an asbestos-related disease. This blog post will educate you about asbestos and asbestos-related diseases. It will also provide information about how to protect yourself from asbestos exposure.
Asbestosis is a common asbestos disease in which the inner lung tissue gets severely scarred after prolonged exposure to the mineral. It causes pain and severe difficulty in breathing. Asbestosis is not fatal like cancerous tumors, but it can lead to respiratory or cardiac failure since the condition worsens over time. There is no cure for asbestosis, but avoiding exposure to asbestos is the best way to prevent the disease. Getting regular checkups and lung function tests is vital to catch the disease early if exposed to asbestos.
The main reason why lung cancer is so common in asbestos-related diseases is that smoking dramatically increases the risk of developing cancer. Asbestos exposure alone significantly increases the risk, but the risk is magnified several-fold when combined with smoking. Treatment for lung cancer typically includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Even though asbestos only contributes to a small portion of all lung cancer diagnoses, the disease is still one of the fatal asbestos-related malignancies.
One possible explanation for the common occurrence of pleural plaques in asbestos-related diseases is that the plaques are a marker of previous exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma, so the presence of pleural plaques may indicate that a person is at risk for developing cancer.
Pleural thickening is a more severe condition that can lead to breathlessness and restricted lung function. This condition occurs when the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs) becomes thicker and more rigid, typically due to exposure to asbestos fibers. While pleural thickening is not cancerous, it can signify other asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. If you have pleural thickening, it is vital to see a doctor for regular checkups and monitor your lung health.
Mesothelioma is severe cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos exposure can cause tumors to form in the lining of the lungs, stomach, heart, or testes. These tumors can cause pain and shortness of breath, which are common symptoms of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a severe illness with a poor prognosis, and most patients live less than one year from the time of diagnosis. Treatment options are limited, and there is no cure for mesothelioma. However, palliative radiation therapy can be effective in reducing symptoms. Current clinical trials are investigating a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy as a potential treatment for mesothelioma. There is also recent research focused on identifying biomarkers that could be used to screen for mesothelioma.
What type of law is asbestos?
Asbestos is typically governed by environmental and occupational health and safety laws. In the United States, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulations in place to manage the safe removal and disposal of asbestos from buildings, while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards to protect workers from exposure to asbestos on the job. Additionally, there are often specific laws and regulations regarding asbestos in products, such as building materials and automotive parts. The handling, use, and disposal of asbestos are also subject to liability under tort law in case of harm to others.
What Federal Laws and Regulations Govern Asbestos?
In the United States, several federal laws and regulations govern the use and handling of asbestos. These include:
The Clean Air Act (CAA):
This act gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate air pollutants, including asbestos, to protect public health and the environment. The EPA has used this authority to implement the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), which sets standards for asbestos removal and demolition activities.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):
This law gives the EPA the authority to regulate the manufacture, import, use, and disposal of chemicals, including asbestos.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA):
This law gives the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the authority to set and enforce standards to protect workers from workplace hazards, including asbestos. OSHA has established specific standards for asbestos exposure in the construction and shipyard industries.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund):
This law provides a framework for addressing the cleanup of hazardous waste sites, including those contaminated with asbestos.
These federal laws and regulations provide a comprehensive framework for managing the use and handling of asbestos to protect public health and the environment.
What Role Do State Play in Regulating Asbestos?
In addition to federal laws and regulations, states also play a role in regulating asbestos. While federal laws and regulations provide a minimum standard for the protection of public health and the environment, states may impose stricter standards or requirements for the handling and disposal of asbestos within their jurisdiction.
For example, a state may have its own regulations for asbestos abatement and disposal, which may be more stringent than federal standards. Some states also have their own certification and licensing requirements for asbestos workers and contractors. Additionally, states may have their own enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with state asbestos regulations, such as fines or penalties for non-compliance.
It is important to note that state and federal regulations can sometimes overlap, and in such cases, the more stringent requirement must be followed. This means that if a state regulation is more stringent than a federal regulation, the state regulation takes precedence.
In summary, states play an important role in regulating asbestos by complementing and sometimes strengthening federal regulations. The specific laws and regulations governing asbestos at the state level vary, so it is important to consult with state agencies or legal experts to determine the specific requirements in a given state.
How can an Asbestos Injury Attorney Help With a Lawsuit?
An asbestos injury attorney can help individuals who have been exposed to asbestos and have developed related health problems, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer, to seek compensation for their injuries. An asbestos injury lawsuit can be complex, and an experienced attorney can help navigate the legal process and represent the individual’s interests.
The following are some of the ways an asbestos injury attorney can help with a lawsuit:
Evaluating the case:
An attorney will review the individual’s medical records, work history, and other relevant information to determine if there is a viable case for compensation.
Identifying liable parties:
In many cases, there may be multiple companies that are responsible for an individual’s exposure to asbestos. An attorney can help identify these companies and hold them accountable for their role in causing the individual’s injuries.
Filing a lawsuit:
An attorney can handle the legal process of filing a lawsuit, including drafting and filing the complaint, serving the defendants, and responding to any legal motions or objections.
Building a strong case:
An attorney can help gather evidence, such as medical records, expert witness testimony, and depositions from witnesses, to build a strong case for compensation.
Negotiating a settlement:
In many cases, asbestos injury cases are settled out of court. An attorney can help negotiate a fair settlement on behalf of the individual, taking into account the individual’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Representing the individual in court:
If the case goes to trial, an attorney can represent the individual in court and present the case in a persuasive manner to the jury.
An asbestos injury lawsuit can be a complex and time-consuming process, but an experienced attorney can help individuals navigate the legal system and seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Asbestos is regulated by both federal and state laws and regulations designed to protect public health and the environment from the dangers of asbestos exposure. An asbestos injury attorney can help individuals who have been exposed to asbestos and have developed related health problems to seek compensation for their injuries. An attorney can evaluate the case, identify liable parties, file a lawsuit, build a strong case, negotiate a settlement, and represent the individual in court, if necessary. By working with an experienced asbestos injury attorney, individuals can have the support they need to navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries.