Asbestos is made up of a series of minerals. Asbestos is derived from metamorphic rocks, and is a naturally occurring mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals. The word “asbestos” comes from a Greek adjective meaning inextinguishable. To the touch, asbestos fibers are soft and pliable, and have the amazing ability to withstand high heat temperatures. Asbestos fibers are also very strong and give asbestos products strength within their composition. Intact and undisturbed, asbestos fibers do not pose a health risk. With these chemical and physical properties in mind, it is no wonder that numerous products were produced from this mineral.
Asbestos fibers can be found in products, such as joint compound (mud), gaskets, auto brakes, rope, plaster and insulation. Laborers who worked with and around asbestos are at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer. Prolonged exposure to raw asbestos or to materials that contain asbestos can lead to terminal illness. However, there are many instances of individuals being diagnosed with mesothelioma many years after a brief, intense encounter with asbestos during, for example, employment at a summer job. There are also many documented cases of mesothelioma resulting from second-hand exposure to asbestos brought home on a worker’s clothing. Wives who launder their husband’s clothing and children exposed to dust on a family member’s clothing are at particular risk. Duration and intensity of exposure are two important factors in the development of asbestos related diseases.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, it is important that you contact us immediately regarding your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you or a loved one has experienced due to the negligence of the asbestos industry.
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