If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is possible that exposure to asbestos caused this situation. Once used in hundreds of applications across the country, asbestos is now known as a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) and is closely regulated. Some asbestos manufacturers, however, hid this fact from their workers and the general public and can be held accountable for resulting illnesses. You may be entitled to financial compensation, and a Los Angeles mesothelioma lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group can help.
Mesothelioma is a particularly aggressive and rare form of cancer that originates in the mesothelium, a thin membrane that lines certain organs and cavities in the body. Its primary cause is inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which become embedded in the tissue and cause irritation, inflammation and scarring. Over time, they can actually alter the genetic make-up of the cells and cause them to grow rapidly and abnormally, forming tumors. According to the American Cancer Society, about 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, and only 5-10% of patients live at least 5 years after their diagnoses.
Asbestos exposure is widely recognized as the primary cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is the name for a group of six naturally-occurring minerals that can be found in rock formations across the U.S. and the entire planet. These minerals have exceptional heat-resistant, insulating and fireproofing qualities. They are also fibrous, and depending on the type may be incorporated into a number of different materials. Asbestos can even be spun into thread and woven into cloth. These qualities and its affordability made asbestos a top choice for insulating and fireproofing materials in construction, shipbuilding and many other industries beginning in the 1900s. By the 1950s, the U.S. was the top asbestos consumer in the world.
Asbestos use peaked between the 1930s and 1970s, with a considerable increase in use during World War II that continued through the following decades. During this time, respiratory problems and other serious medical conditions were associated with asbestos exposure, but no widespread regulation of the minerals began until the 1970s. Federal regulation of asbestos began in the 1970s when the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure were no longer refutable. Unfortunately, millions of Americans had already been exposed.
It can take decades for a person who has been exposed to asbestos to develop mesothelioma. The average latency period for this form of cancer ranges from 20 to 50 years, meaning a person who was exposed during the Vietnam War could only now be experiencing symptoms. We are seeing mesothelioma diagnoses from exposure that occurred before and after asbestos regulation began in the U.S., and in either scenario a patient may have grounds for a lawsuit against the manufacturer, employer or other party responsible for his or her exposure.
Our mesothelioma attorneys are dedicated to helping clients throughout the Los Angeles area who have been exposed to asbestos in any capacity. We represent veterans who were exposed during service in the Navy, Army, Air Force or Marines and can help workers in construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing and other fields where asbestos use was prevalent. We can also help people who are suffering the effects of asbestos exposure after it was regulated, due to violations of state and/or federal asbestos handling and abatement regulations.
Call for your free consultation and find out what options you have in seeking financial compensation for an asbestos-related medical condition. We are currently investigating cases involving not only mesothelioma but lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural disorders as well. Contact a Los Angeles mesothelioma attorney today.
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