Asbestos exposure is accountable for the death of over 12,000 people in the U.S. every year
Asbestos-related diseases have a low prevalence even among people who have been regularly exposed to high levels of airborne fibers. Nevertheless, numerous medical studies suggest that the risk of becoming ill increases with the dose and duration of exposure. Thereby, if you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace, your chances of developing a serious disease in the future are considerable. Between 2 and 10 per cent of people with a history of heavy asbestos exposure will develop pleural mesothelioma. However, non-malignant diseases such as asbestosis are more common than lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma develops exclusively as a result of asbestos exposure. Every year, between 2,500 and 3,000 people develop mesothelioma in the U.S., most of whom have been in regular contact with asbestos in the workplace several decades ago. In fact, all asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period and tend to occur within 20 to 50 years of first exposure. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type. However, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, representing less than 0.2% of all cancer cases.
Lung cancer is primarily caused by tobacco smoking. Nonetheless, asbestos exposure is accountable for nearly 5% of all diagnosed cases of lung cancer and 4,800 Americans lose their lives annually to asbestos-related lung cancer. When it is a consequence of exposure to asbestos, lung cancer develops differently and also entails a long latency period of 15 to 35 years. Moreover, smokers with a history of asbestos exposure are between 50 and 90 times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Tobacco consumption has not been found to increase the risk of developing mesothelioma.
Asbestosis is a non-malignant pulmonary disease which often develops prior to lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma. According to the Environmental Working Group, there have been 20,317 asbestosis deaths between 1999 and 2013 in the U.S.
Because the symptoms of this condition are very similar to those of more common respiratory diseases, asbestosis cases might be severely underreported.
Have you or a family member been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease? The attorneys at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. have recovered substantial compensation for over 25,000 asbestos victims throughout the last two decades and are bound to do the same for you. Whether you would like to file an asbestos claim or would simply like to find out more about the legal process, feel free to contact us at 205.328.9200 and our well-trained staff will promptly answer all your questions.