For over two decades, the dangers of working with asbestos products have become apparent. While several industries frequently worked with this material, over time, it became clear that some of the serious illnesses experienced by workers were related to this material. Although it is not as widely used, workers can still come into contact with asbestos. Whether it is knowingly or unknowingly, this exposure could result in the development of a serious and even fatal workplace illness.
There are various illnesses that can be associated with asbestos exposure. When these fibers are inhaled, significant health problems could occur. These fibers could settle in the lungs and neighboring tissue. Over time, these settled fibers could spread to other parts of the body. It can take time, in some cases over 20 years, to notice the effects of asbestos exposure. However, the effects can often be a serious illness, like cancer.
The symptoms of diseases like lung cancer typically include coughing, a chronic cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, bone pain, headache and hoarseness. Another illness that could result is mesothelioma, which impacts the thin layer of tissue surrounding the internal organs. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, unusual lumps in the affected area and weight loss.
Suffering an occupational disease can be a shocking diagnosis, especially if it is because of an exposure that took place decades ago. Nonetheless, workers impacted by asbestos exposure should understand that they may be able to seek workers’ compensation. These benefits could help address medical bills and other losses, helping to reduce the financial impact this work-related illness has caused.