When a patient receives a lung cancer diagnosis, a lawyer may be one of the first people that patient should contact. While tumors can be caused by many risk factors, some tumors result from only one or two hazards, which makes it easy to pinpoint the exact cause of the disease. And in some cases, another party’s negligence plays a large part in a patient’s diagnosis. When it does, an attorney can help a victim seek justice and ensure careless employers and businesses are held accountable.
HOW CAN NEGLIGENCE RESULT IN LUNG CANCER?
An injury lawyer regularly assists workers who have been exposed to toxic compounds, as well as homeowners who don’t realize they are slowly being poisoned by their surroundings. People put their faith in home builders, employers, and safety equipment manufacturers, assuming that these people will do everything possible to reduce health risks. Unfortunately that is not always the case.
Few dangers have received as much press as asbestos, as it was once ubiquitous. It was installed in nearly every new building, placed inside automotive and aeronautical systems, and prized for its insulating qualities. It took decades for the dangers associated with asbestos to become well-known, though researchers and asbestos product manufacturers were in the know well before that. Asbestos is deadly because it sheds microscopic crystals when agitated in any way. These crystals end up in the body once inhaled and provoke an immune response. Over the years, a fibrous mass builds up where the crystals anchor, and this mass can eventually become malignant. It’s a condition known as mesothelioma, and it usually kills within months of diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is only caused by asbestos exposure, which may be through a negligent employer or home builder that used the substance illegally. But while mesothelioma has received a lot of attention in recent years, it isn’t a leading cause of disease. What is, though, is radon gas, which is another hazard that people aren’t aware of, even if it is slowly killing them. In most cases focused on lung cancer, the lawyer is helping someone who has been harmed over many years, and that is also the case with radon gas.
Radon gas is the second leading cause of tumors in the lungs, and is a radioactive substance released as uranium, radium and thorium decay. These elements are found in the soil, and they may exist in elevated concentrations in some areas. As radon gas is radioactive, it can enter the body and cause damage at the genetic level, eventually resulting in tumorous tissues. It is most common in basements and homes that are built low to the ground. However, in areas where radon gas is a known risk, home builders are expected to test for it and install radon removal devices and detectors. This is a safety measure that is often overlooked, though, leaving building occupants without the means to protect themselves.
Asbestos and radon exposure can be avoided as long as employers and builders do their jobs right. When they don’t, they may be legally accountable.