Asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that were widely used in construction and manufacturing until the first federal limits on asbestos were instituted in the United States in 1972. By the time these federal limits were instituted, more than 10,000 people annually were dying as a result of asbestos-related illnesses. Since the complications associated with asbestos can often take decades to manifest, there are still thousands dying each year because of diseases related to breathing in asbestos fibers. While mesothelioma is the most common of the asbestos-complications, lung cancer is another illness that can affect individuals exposed to asbestos.
Lung cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat and the five-year survival rate for a lung cancer patient is just 16.3 percent. Unfortunately, treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy, can be costly and debilitating. The costs of these treatments should be covered by those responsible for your asbestos-complications, as should other losses including lost companionship and lost financial support if the lung cancer results in the death of a loved one. Taking legal action can be complicated though since much of the exposure happened long ago and since many asbestos manufacturers are no longer operational. It is important to have an experienced attorney representing you and the Boston asbestos lawyers at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help.Lung Cancer and Asbestos Exposure
The link between asbestos and lung cancer was identified by medical researchers in 1935 and confirmed seven years later by the National Cancer Institute. In 1986, the occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized lung cancer as one of the greatest risks for those exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
Asbestos is linked to lung cancer because the inhaled asbestos fibers become lodged in the lining of the lungs. The size of the fibers determines where in the lungs they become lodged, and their location determines whether you will develop lung cancer or mesothelioma. If the asbestos fibers settle in the outer lining of the lungs then you are at risk for pleural malignant mesothelioma. Longer asbestos fibers (5 mm fibers) may settle in the lung tissue and increase your lung cancer risk.
Lung cancer, like mesothelioma, can take decades to develop and is often diagnosed after the cancer has advanced. The symptoms of lung cancer, which include a persistent cough and coughing up blood, typically do not appear until the cancer is in a late stage. This further complicates treatment and reduces the chances of survival.Taking Legal Action for Lung Cancer and Asbestos
Asbestos exposure often occurred at work and there are certain fields were asbestos exposure was more likely to occur. Those most at risk include:
- Shipyard workers
- Construction workers
- Insulation installers
- Auto mechanics
- Textile and paper mill workers
- Sheet metal workers
The Mayo Clinic also warns that those who shared a residence with individuals exposed to asbestos are also at risk because of asbestos fibers on clothing.
When lung cancer is developed, it is important to determine if the cancer can be linked to asbestos. Approximately four percent of all U.S. lung cancer fatalities are attributed to asbestos exposure, which means that there are an estimated 4,800 fatalities annually. Those individuals who have lost family members or whose lung cancer is linked to asbestos can take legal action.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, we can help you to understand the different options available for obtaining compensation, including litigation, a workers’ compensation claim, and funds set up to compensate asbestos victims when manufacturers have gone bankrupt. Give our Boston asbestos exposure lawyers a call today to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help you.