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Asbestos Exposure FAQ

Chicago Asbestos Injury Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma and Related Illnesses

Even though asbestos is not as widely used as it once was, there are still a variety of ways that people may be at risk of harm due to exposure to this toxic substance. People who inhale asbestos fibers into their lungs may experience mesothelioma or lung cancer. Those who have worked with asbestos products in the past or spent time in buildings containing asbestos may be at risk of harm, and in many cases, symptoms of asbestos-related conditions may not appear for multiple years or decades after the initial exposure occurred. Those who are concerned about health issues that may have been caused by asbestos exposure will want to understand their legal options, and our firm can answer questions about pursuing compensation for asbestos-related injuries.

What Types of Products Contain Asbestos?

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was a commonly-used material in building products. Because it provides protection against fire, it was used in shingles, roofing, siding, drywall, floor and ceiling tiles, and insulation. It was also used to insulate pipes and ducts and in casings for electrical wiring, and certain types of paint, adhesives, plastics, and cement also contained asbestos. While newer homes and other buildings are less likely to contain asbestos, it is likely to be present in any buildings built before 1980.

Multiple other types of products may also contain asbestos, including fire-resistant fabrics, fireproof gloves, oven mitts and pot holders, garden products, and soundproofing materials. Asbestos has also been found to be mixed into talc products such as baby powder. Certain types of auto parts may also contain asbestos, including brake pads, spark plugs, and mufflers.

Who Is Most at Risk of Injury Due to Asbestos Exposure?

While any asbestos exposure is unsafe, people who have been exposed to asbestos on a regular basis are more likely to suffer serious health conditions. Workers in certain occupations are especially at risk, including construction or demolition workers who work in older buildings or use materials and products that may contain asbestos. Workers involved in shipbuilding and chemical manufacturing, firefighters, and workers who manufacture auto parts or perform repairs on older vehicles may also be exposed to asbestos. Secondary exposure can also occur when other people come into contact with asbestos fibers that accumulate on a person's clothes, skin, or hair.

Certain people may be at risk of asbestos exposure in the environment. People who live in older buildings may regularly come in contact with materials containing asbestos. Asbestos may also be released into the environment due to mining operations, the demolition of older buildings, or the use of asbestos in manufacturing or industrial settings.

What Are the Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Illnesses?

Since asbestos most commonly affects the lungs, a person may experience symptoms such as persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and pain or feelings of tightness in the chest. Signs of mesothelioma or lung cancer may include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss
  • Swelling in the face, neck, chest, or abdomen
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Coughing up blood

If a person experiences these symptoms and believes they have been exposed to asbestos in the past, multiple diagnostic tests may be performed, including chest X-rays and CT scans, as well as biopsies of lung tissue to determine whether asbestos fibers are present in the body.

Contact an Illinois Asbestos Exposure Attorney

If you have lived or worked in a location where you may have been exposed to asbestos, you and your family may be at risk of serious health issues. Our firm can help you determine whether you may be able to pursue compensation to address the damages you have suffered. To learn how we can help with your case, contact us today and set up a free consultation by calling 866-553-9812.

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