Asbestos has been used in many products and industries in the United States. The EPA issued a Partial Ban in 1989, which prevented the manufacture, import, processing, and distribution of some products that contained asbestos. This ban also stopped the market from getting new products made with asbestos. In April 2019, the Final Rule was put in place, which prevents asbestos products from reentering the market without evaluation. The EPA prohibits these products in the U.S. so they can continue to protect the public. While these bans are in place now, unfortunately there are still many Americans who were exposed during their lifetime. Because of this exposure, they may be suffering from severe health complications caused by mesothelioma, a cancer that asbestos fibers can cause.
The exposure to asbestos may have been a result of negligence. If you or a loved one has mesothelioma, you may want to get in touch with Frost Law Firm, PC. Our lawyers are ready to fight for you. Before learning more about how we can help, let’s go over some information about asbestos.
What Is Asbestos and Where Is it Found?
According to the EPA, asbestos can be found in schools, places of work, soils and rock, and the air. It’s a mineral fiber from rock and soil. Asbestos was used in many kinds of businesses and industries in the United States until 1970, when growing health concerns started to slow the use of the fiber. While the shift away from asbestos has helped lower the use now, there are still areas that use the material, as well as people who grew up and lived in an area that had widespread use of asbestos.
Exposure occurs when something disturbs the material that contains asbestos. Products that contain asbestos can degrade over time and release asbestos fibers. There are also concerns for those who live near naturally-occurring asbestos deposits. If there is an event like an earthquake or disturbance caused by humans, it can disturb the ground and cause the release of asbestos fibers. Once the fibers are in the air, people can inhale or ingest them. When asbestos fibers get into someone’s body, the fibers can settle and begin to scar the tissue around it. Over time, the cells can become cancerous and form a tumor as they replicate.
What Kinds of Products Contain Asbestos?
The products and industries that use asbestos are extensive. It’s important to know the different ways you may have been exposed. These details can help your lawyer as they determine who acted negligently and led to your asbestos exposure and resulting mesothelioma diagnosis.
Asbestos is now imported to the U.S. The CDC lists the products that contain it, which include:
- Auto parts, like automobile clutches and brake pads
- Construction items, like corrugated sheeting, imported cement pipe, roofing materials, and vinyl tile
Because asbestos used to be so common, there may be products that were made before the 70s that contain asbestos. It can still be found in old buildings, ships, and automobiles that were built before 1975.
- Boilers and heating vessels
- Construction materials like electrical wire conduits, cement pipe, pipe covering, roofing products, sealants and coatings, insulation, and textiles
- Corrosive chemical containers
- Auto parts like the clutch, brake, and transmission components
- Electrical motor components
- Laboratory furniture
- Heat-protective pads
While working may have been the reason for exposure, being in old structures with old construction materials can also put you at risk. Whether it’s a home or other type of building, if the materials are breaking down, they can release asbestos fibers. Materials like ceiling and floor tiles, roofing shingles, textured paints, caulking and joint compound, and the walls and floors used with wood-burning stoves. If someone is demolishing or renovating their home, they may unknowingly be disturbing materials with asbestos.
Other Products with Asbestos Contamination
While you may think of products where asbestos was purposely used to explain your diagnosis, it’s important to know that asbestos contamination can also occur. For example, a substance called vermiculite can be found in products like potting soil and insulation. However, there was a mine in Libby, Montana filled with vermiculite ore that was contaminated with asbestos. As that ore was used to make products, the asbestos spread with it. Unfortunately, it was distributed nationwide. Some houses may have this type of insulation.
Asbestos can also release into the air if road construction uses crushed rock with naturally-occurring asbestos. In some cases, asbestos can contaminate drinking water. Rainwater will transport it when natural land erodes, or from discarded mines, or if it reaches other kinds of asbestos-containing products that are breaking down.
Asbestos Health Concerns
When someone is exposed to asbestos, they can develop severe health complications later in life. Typically, when someone has more exposure to asbestos, there’s a greater chance of suffering from lung problems.
There are three diseases that can happen after asbestos exposure:
- Lung Cancer
- Asbestosis (a lung disease that is non-cancerous, but increases the risk of developing lung cancer)
If you see a doctor and learn asbestos exposure has compromised your health, you may be able to seek legal action. To do this, you’ll want the help of experienced representation.
Frost Law Firm, PC Stands Up for Mesothelioma Victims
If you’ve been in an area with asbestos or worked with materials that contained asbestos, you may be dealing with the serious health consequences of mesothelioma. When you’re facing an uncertain future that will include intense medical care and treatments, you may wonder about affording this care and how your exposure happened in the first place.
The Hawaii mesothelioma lawyers from Frost Law Firm, PC can advocate for you to receive the compensation you deserve so you can treat the disease. We’ll also carefully investigate how you were exposed to asbestos and who was responsible for the exposure. You can focus on your medical care and future without the burden of how you’re going to afford it.
The first step of your legal journey begins with making a phone call to our office. In a free case evaluation, we’ll go over what happened to you. This may include discussing your claim’s validity, answering your questions, and helping to make a plan that will benefit you.