Approximately 107,000 people die each year around the world because of an asbestos-related disease, according to the World Health Organization. There are a number of such illnesses like asbestosis and lung cancer but in recent years malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer, has become almost synonymous with asbestos exposure. Many people who suffer from the disease enlist the support of a mesothelioma lawyer to ensure they get compensated from the entity responsible for their exposure to the carcinogenic mineral.
According to the National Cancer Institute, asbestos "is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable threads. These fibers are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity." These properties made the deadly mineral a vital part of many industries for many years.
In fact, the use of asbestos dates back to the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans who used the mineral primarily as a flame retardant. Even some of these ancient people were aware of the harm that asbestos exposure could cause to one's health. The first century A.D. Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted that one should never buy slaves who worked in asbestos mines as they had a tendency to die young.
While ancient Greeks and Romans may not have had access to mesothelioma lawyers, now people who have worked with the hazardous material do.
Industries such as insulation, ship building, construction, pipefitting, plumbing, mining, textile manufacturing and auto maintenance regularly used asbestos for many decades. Now many workers in those industries are coping with the consequences of their asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks the thin membrane that lines the chest, abdomen and many of the body's internal organs. According to the Mayo Clinic, health professionals "divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural malignant mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen, around the heart and around the testicles."
Regardless of the type of the disease, mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Those who have been diagnosed with the cancer may want to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer to see if they can gain access to compensation for their treatment and their families.
A mesothelioma lawyer will work to determine precisely where, when and how a victim of the illness was exposed to asbestos. This can be a difficult process as the symptoms of cancer may not manifest themselves for decades after exposure to asbestos. Because of this, mesothelioma lawyers can be invaluable to victims of the disease.
Often times asbestos exposure on the job is the fault of employers that did not either properly train workers to handle the carcinogenic material or did not provide them with the proper equipment to protect themselves from it. Because of this, a mesothelioma lawyer may be able to help a worker diagnosed with the disease to gain compensation.
This compensation can be invaluable to mesothelioma victims not only for treatment of the illness but to help ensure that families are provided for in the event that they succumb to the illness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of the rare cancer is rising in the U.S. and so more people may be contacting mesothelioma lawyers in the near future.