Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure
For years, asbestos has been present in building materials. Decades ago, the substance was causally linked to a number of respiratory issues that have led to the illness and death of millions of American workers across the country. Unfortunately, Florida is no exception, as asbestos has been an integral ingredient in shipbuilding, construction and manufacturing here since long before the health risks were known.
Understanding Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is in many, many products in our homes, workplaces, and communities. Microscopic asbestos fibers are discharged into the air whenever these products are disturbed. This occurs when materials are drilled into, sawed, sandblasted, or otherwise agitated. This can result in either primary or secondary exposure.
- Primary exposure occurs when individuals breathe in these particles at the site of the exposure. The fibers may then settle in the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring that may build up over many years, ultimately resulting in serious illness.
- Secondary exposure occurs differently, but may incur the same results. An individual may be exposed to asbestos particles, which land on their hair and clothing. When that person comes into contact with someone else, the particles may become airborne and find their way into another person’s respiratory system.
A number of serious conditions have been linked to asbestos exposure. In fact estimates have it that 200,000 individuals suffer from inflammatory lung conditions and 3,000 die annually from various cancers due to extended exposure to asbestos. The most common conditions include:
- Pleural plaques;
- Cancers of the lungs, larynx, lung, stomach, pharynx, colorectum and/or ovary.
Individuals who have experienced asbestos exposure may be susceptible to health risks depending on a number of factors, including:
- The amount of exposure;
- The duration of the exposure;
- The chemical composition of the asbestos fibers;
- The shape and size of the fibers;
- The source of the asbestos exposure;
- Additional issues such as genetic factors and other personal risk factors.
Proving your Claim
In order to file a claim in Florida, you and your attorney will need to demonstrate that your health issues are related to asbestos exposure by providing the following:
- Detailed evidence that you were exposed to the material in the workplace or otherwise;
- Substantiation that at least ten years have passed between the exposure and the illness;
- A medical diagnosis of at least a Class 2 respiratory illness;
- A medical diagnosis of widespread pleural thickening;
- A licensed physician’s conclusion that a key contributing factor to your illness was asbestos exposure.
Justice for Victims
The broad investigation necessary to bring a case involving asbestos exposure to court is often tedious, but at Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., we believe in fighting for justice on behalf of our clients. You can be assured that we will provide an experienced and dedicated team for your defense. Contact us in Kissimmee, Orlando, or Altamonte Springs for a free, confidential consultation today.