Who Is Likely To Contact An Asbestos Attorney For Help?

by Terry Bryant

When an asbestos attorney gets involved in a case, it is typically after the victim has been diagnosed with a deadly condition, like mesothelioma. This material is part of the silicate family of compounds, all of which are mined and removed from large chunks of rock. Its physical structure consists of thousands of tiny fibers that are extremely delicate. When removed from the rock, these fibers offer excellent fire and corrosion resistance. What they also offer, however, is the possibility of severe health problems.

Though the health risks involved with asbestos exposure have been tracked for some time, it was a popular additive in a variety of construction materials until just a few decades ago. It was widely used as insulation in older homes, wrapped around pipes or added to wall or ceiling matted insulation. It is also found in older vehicles to reduce heat buildup in braking systems. This means that firefighters, electricians, construction workers, plumbers, miners, shipyard workers and aircraft maintenance workers are the most likely to approach an asbestos attorney for help. After prolonged exposure to the material, it is common for workers and people living in older homes to develop serious respiratory problems, or worse.

The primary risk with this silicate is the size of its fibers. The fibers are so small they can penetrate cell nuclei and wrap around cellular DNA. Because they are nearly weightless, they are readily suspended in the air when the material is disturbed, rubbed, or abraded in any way. When inhaled, the fibers penetrate the lungs and force the body into an immune response. White blood cells attempt to engulf the fibers, but with their spear-like shape, they pierce through the white blood cells, killing them. The body then deposits scar tissue in response. Over time, this tissue can become fibrous or cancerous, resulting in a condition known as mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma only has one known cause, which is exposure to this material. Those diagnosed with mesothelioma should consider speaking to an asbestos attorney to discuss their options.