Find an Asbestos Lawyer

Asbestos laws were created by the government to regulate employee exposure to asbestos in the workplace and allow people who are injured as a result of asbestos exposure to seek compensation; these same laws are currently being considered by the federal legislature.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a material that has been used in making over 5,000 products for hundreds of years. It can be found in everything from the brakes on your car to insulation, paints, plastics and roofing materials. Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibers which can be separated into thin threads and started being mined in North America in the 1800s. The fibers that make up asbestos are not affected by heat or chemicals and do not conduct electricity, which is why they are an ideal product to be used by many industries. There are four main types of asbestos that have been used commercially over the years: Chrysotile (white asbestos), Crocidolite (blue asbestos), Amosite (brown asbestos) and Anthophyllite (gray asbestos). All types belong to the amphibole family of fibers (rod shaped) except for Chrysotile which has belongs to the serpentine family (curly fibers). Asbestos fiber masses tend to break into a dust composed of tiny particles that can easily float in the air or stick to clothes. The fibers can also be easily inhaled or swallowed which is why they can be so hazardous to your health.

What is asbestos used for?

Asbestos is used for many things, over 5,000 products since it began being used. For example, building and construction industry uses it to strengthen cement and plastics, as well as for insulation, fire proofing, absorbing sound. The shipbuilding industry however, uses it to insulate boilers and hot water pipes. Asbestos if also used by the automotive industry in brake and clutch pads. Those are only a few examples; asbestos could be in so many more products that you would need to do further research to determine if any of the products you or your family uses contain asbestos.

Some of the health hazards associated with Asbestos

Asbestos exposure can be extremely harmful to human health. Asbestos related diseases is the term used within the medical community to refer to the damage, pain and suffering caused by inhaling these hazardous and generally microscopic fibers of mineral. Exposure can cause both malignant diseases (cancers in organs which have come into contact with ingested asbestos); and non-malignant diseases (scarring processes of organs which have come into contact with ingested asbestos). It can also cause Asbestosis, a chronic lung ailment that can produce shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage.

Making Progress, But Still a Problem

Although some progress has been made to prevent any further damage caused by asbestos, it is still an issue mostly because although in 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses for asbestos, all uses establish prior to 1989 are still allowed. If you or a family member have been exposed to asbestos the first thing to do is see a physician, and then if you wish to consult a lawyer it is very important to make sure you find a firm or attorney that has had prior experience with asbestos lawsuits.

By Elysse Kimberlin           

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