Connection of Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Asbestos has been praised throughout history because it is fire resistant, strong, and versatile. Ancient Romans wove asbestos fibers into napkins and tablecloths, and merely threw them into a fire to clean them. Even at this primitive stage in human history, many noted that those who were exposed to asbestos suffered terrible breathing problems and general ill health, but lacked the ability to properly diagnose the condition. Thousands of years later, asbestos was used again by metal and ceramic workers to protect themselves from the hazards of their professions. Also, because fire was a constant danger, the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and early 20th centuries used asbestos to safeguard factories and products at the cost of the health of the workers. After a time, asbestos became integral to thousands of products as diverse as brake shoes, cement, insulation, and even oven mitts. Proliferation of this vital but dangerous material threatened the lives of millions.There are three main types of asbestos: WHITE (CHRYSOTILE) ASBESTOS, BROWN (AMOSITE) ASBESTOS, and BLUE (RIEBECKITE) ASBESTOS.
- WHITE (CHRYSOTILE) ASBESTOS: This is the most common type of asbestos used in industrial processes in the United States. White asbestos is thought to be not as dangerous as other types of the mineral. The main source of this material comes from Quebec, Canada, although there are substantial deposits throughout North America and Europe.
- BROWN (AMOSITE) ASBESTOS: Brown asbestos is relatively uncommon, and comes from the extensive mines of South Africa. It is believed to cause pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, as well as lung cancer.
- BLUE (RIEBECKITE) ASBESTOS: Blue asbestos comes from Africa and Australia, and is most often believed to be the most dangerous form of asbestos. It is well known to cause serious medical conditions such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
- Fibrous Tremolite
- Fibrous Anthophyllite
- Fibrous Actinolite
As medical technology became more sophisticated, doctors began to finally understand the effects of asbestos on the human body. Asbestos shards are invisible to the naked eye, and their small size and light weight allows them to remain airborne for an extended period after initial release. Furthermore, because asbestos is fibrous by nature, it continues to break into smaller and smaller particles, meaning one asbestos particle can beget hundreds of smaller ones. The size, weight, and composition of asbestos conspire to increase accumulation in the body which contributes to potential exposure to the deadly cancer mesothelioma.
As asbestos particles enter the body, they begin to accumulate in the respiratory and digestive systems. These fibers are so small they often penetrate organs at the microscopic level, protruding through organs into the body cavity. Mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers mutate the cells on the lining that surrounds the interior body cavity, called the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a layer of cells that secretes lubrication that allows organs like the heart and lungs to move properly. As these cells mutate and die, lungs cannot take in as much air, and the heart experiences great difficulty beating. Also, since the lungs are responsible for providing air to the blood, cancerous mesothelioma cells can spread all throughout the body through the bloodstream, further complicating an already deadly condition.
Link Between Asbestos and Mesothelioma.
There is little doubt about the link between asbestos and mesothelioma. What is in doubt is the role asbestos companies are responsible for their negligence in failing to warn people about the dangers of their products. If you or someone you love suffers from mesothelioma, you have the right to consult an attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer is the first step in pursing a settlement to recover damages caused to you by asbestos. Don’t hesitate though, for your state limits the amount time you have to initiate legal action. Contact a lawyer today.