How long does it take for asbestos exposure to become significant?

Asbestos is a carcinogen responsible for the occurrence of terrible diseases. However, most people who became ill had been exposed to high levels of asbestos over the course of several years.

answered by Gregory A. Cade

Generally, exposure becomes significant after several years of regular contact with asbestos

Asbestos is classified as a known human carcinogen by multiple reputable agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Due to the toxic nature of this mineral, no level of exposure is safe and nowadays, companies that still employ asbestos are legally compelled to provide workers with protective equipment.

Despite the undeniable health hazard, not everyone who was exposed to asbestos will develop a disease. There are two factors that determine the severity of exposure, as well as whether it is significant: duration and intensity. Consequently, the longer you are exposed to asbestos, the more likely you are to become ill. Similarly, a high level of airborne fibers is associated with an increased risk of developing a disease.

However, according to the National Cancer Institute, there is also a correlation between the severity of exposure and the disease you are prone to. Thus, while people who have been exposed to a high concentration of asbestos over the course of at least one year have a considerable chance of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer, those who were in contact with lower levels of airborne fibers may be diagnosed with asbestosis or pleural plaques in the future.

The concentration of airborne asbestos is measured in fibers per milliliter of air a year (f/mL-yr). In the case of lung cancer, for instance, exposure is considered significant when the individual was exposed to 25 f/mL-yr.

Nevertheless, these are general rules which do not apply to every person with a history of asbestos exposure. There have been cases when people developed a serious disease after being exposed to lower levels of asbestos or after a shorter duration of exposure.

How can lawyers prove exposure, especially if it happened long ago?

Time takes its toll on people's memory. Because asbestos-related diseases are usually diagnosed several decades after exposure, it is natural to have difficulty remembering the exact circumstances. A legal team with vast experience in asbestos cases can help you enormously in this respect and will ultimately be able to gather all the necessary documents to prove exposure. Your case will also be carefully and thoroughly researched so as to discover additional information that may be crucial for a positive outcome.

A legal team specialized in asbestos litigation will have the means to jog your memory. We will provide you with multiple effective methods that can help you remember how you were exposed to asbestos. However, we will first collect all the information you can recall regarding important aspects such as:

  • the company you were an employee of
  • the specific asbestos products you were in contact with
  • what your job entailed
  • your medical history and current diagnosis

Afterward, we will ask you to browse product identification books, which include pictures of asbestos-containing products you might have come in contact with. Our database also contains extensive information on thousands of asbestos companies and products and thereby, we will be able to pinpoint the most relevant details of your work history.

The attorneys at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. can also access your employment records through the federal government. Thus, if you are unable to remember important information about your former workplace, we will be able to fill it in for you. Eyewitnesses may also prove to be extremely helpful in the process of building your case. We can identify and locate co-workers, friends, or any other people who might be able to contribute with essential details. Finally, to ensure the success of your endeavors, our experts will carefully research every aspect of your case. Therefore, you do not have to worry about proving asbestos exposure in the slightest.

If you suffer from an asbestos-related disease, you are eligible for financial compensation. Our highly qualified lawyers will do all in their power to achieve the best outcome for your case. Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. has successfully recovered compensation for over 25,000 asbestos victims until now.

We also Represent U.S. Veterans Exposed to Asbestos while Serving their Country

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