It can be very frightening and life-changing to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis; even learning you have an asbestos disease can transform your life and your health. Here’s a look at some of the most common asbestos and mesothelioma FAQs, including answers to questions about asbestos exposure, mesothelioma trust funds, mesothelioma financial assistance and more.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was widely used in industry and manufacturing due to its heat and fire-resistance, along with its insulation properties and its resistance to chemical corrosion.
Is Asbestos Banned or Outlawed?
Some countries have banned asbestos, but it remains legal in the United States.
Where is Asbestos Found?
Asbestos is found in many different products, in building materials and even in U.S. Navy ships. Some of the most common items and products containing asbestos include brake pads, joint compound, insulation, flooring, siding, roofing, boilers, insulating cement, walls and flooring around wood burning stoves and boilers, stove-top pads, adhesives, millboard, thermal insulation around pipes, fireproofed and heat-resistant materials and beyond. It’s most common in buildings and ships that were built or updated prior to the 1980s.
What Professions are at the Highest Risk of Asbestos Exposure?
There are many industries and professions associated with asbestos exposure, including construction workers and contractors, plumbers, welders, millworkers, manufacturing plant workers, miners, auto mechanics, carpenters, paper mill employees, printing facility workers, automaker plant workers, steel mill workers, refinery workers, demolition workers, and industrial facility employees, among others.
U.S. military veterans – especially those who served on ships in the Navy – may have also experienced asbestos exposure during enlistment.
Is Asbestos Still Used in Products?
Yes. Asbestos is still used in many different products in the U.S. and beyond, but it is highly regulated and the use is somewhat sparing due to the many known dangers of asbestos exposure.
How is Asbestos Exposure Harmful?
Asbestos exposure is harmful when small particles of asbestos are inhaled or ingested. Asbestos fibers do not degrade over time; they cause scarring and tissue damage which can ultimately lead to cancer and other health problems.
How Long Does it Take to Get Sick from Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos exposure can take anywhere from a few years to several decades to cause sufficient physical damage to the point where a person is diagnosed with a disease or illness. The average mesothelioma patient does not see any visible symptoms for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years after exposure, while some other forms of asbestos diseases can lead to symptoms much sooner. It all depends on the extent of the exposure, your health and your body’s unique reaction to the asbestos (more at cancer.org).
How Much Asbestos Exposure is Dangerous?
Any amount of asbestos exposure is considered dangerous. There is no “safe” threshold of asbestos exposure, so it’s important to take measures to avoid asbestos exposure. If you suspect you’ve encountered a product or structure containing asbestos, it’s important to consult an asbestos abatement specialist to help remove the asbestos contaminated item. You should also seek immediate medical attention if you believe you’ve been exposed to asbestos.
What are the Most Common Asbestos Diseases?
Asbestos diseases include pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, pleurisy, pleural effusion, pleural thickening, rounded atelectasis, throat cancer, pleural plaques, asbestosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), among others.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma a very deadly form of cancer which can impact different areas of the body such as the lungs and the peritoneal cavity in your abdomen, among other locations. Mesothelioma is a fairly rare disease and it has a strong correlation to asbestos exposure. The mesothelioma prognosis is generally poor, with only 4 in 10 patients surviving for more than one year after diagnosis. By five years post-diagnosis, only 8% of patients will still be alive.
Is Mesothelioma Curable?
No. There is currently no mesothelioma cure and treatments are fairly limited. But new mesothelioma treatments and therapies are always in development through mesothelioma clinical trials.
What are Mesothelioma Clinical Trials?
There are many mesothelioma clinical trials underway, designed to test the efficacy of various drugs and treatments. These clinical trials provide patients with access to new, pioneering treatments, medications and therapies. Each clinical trial has a unique criteria for which patients are admitted into the trial. You may wish to ask your mesothelioma doctor about the options available to you.
What Services and Mesothelioma Financial Assistance is Available?
Mesothelioma patients can gain access to a range of funds and service offerings including expedited Social Security benefits and VA benefits in the case of mesothelioma veterans. These are just a few of the forms of mesothelioma financial assistance and services that are available.
Do I Need to File a Lawsuit to Get Mesothelioma Financial Assistance?
Not necessarily. There are many asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds in place to provide money to people who’ve been sickened by asbestos exposure. In cases where you do work with an attorney to file a mesothelioma or asbestos lawsuit, some defendants will offer a settlement before the case goes to court.
Who Can Get Funds from Asbestos or Mesothelioma Trust Funds?
Asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds were created to help anyone who’s experienced asbestos exposure and suffered adverse consequences, such as a disease or mesothelioma as a result. Each asbestos trust fund is unique in terms of its requirements for getting a settlement, but generally, you must provide documentation and proof that you were exposed to asbestos by the company in question or its products. It’s generally customary for the individual to provide documentation of their medical condition(s) resulting from asbestos exposure.
Some asbestos trust funds do pay funds to family members of those who have died from mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.
Who Can File a Mesothelioma or Asbestos Lawsuit?
Asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits can be filed by anyone who’s been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos disease. In addition, family members of those who’ve passed away from asbestos diseases like mesothelioma may also qualify to file a lawsuit. But it’s important to take action immediately by contacting a qualified mesothelioma lawyer because the statute of limitations places a cap on how long you have to file a legal claim. So if you wait too long, you could lose your chance at legal justice.
How Long Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations varies from state to state, so you must consult an asbestos attorney. In some cases, patients have a couple years from the time they are diagnosed. Family members may have one or two years from the loved one’s date of death to seek out mesothelioma lawsuit settlements. The same is generally true for asbestos exposure lawsuits.
Who is Mesowatch?
Mesowatch is a website that’s committed to providing information, resources and guidance to mesothelioma patients, their family members and others who’ve been impacted by asbestos exposure. More information can be found at https://mesowatch.com/mesothelioma-lawyers/ and the team can help asbestos exposure victims and mesothelioma patients in their quest to get compensation and damages.