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Illinois Asbestos Exposure Attorney

Illinois Injury Lawyer for Toxic Substance-Related Injuries

Chicago Toxic Substance Exposure Lawyer for Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos-Related Injuries

The dangers of asbestos are well-known. While this substance was once widely used in a variety of consumer and industrial products, it has been found to cause multiple types of serious health conditions. Because of this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos in 1989. However, people may still be at risk of exposure to asbestos in older buildings or products, and those who have worked in certain occupations may experience mesothelioma or lung cancer. Because the effects of asbestos exposure can be serious and long-lasting, victims of these types of injuries will want to determine their options for pursuing compensation for their damages.

Manufacturers of products that contain harmful substances may be held liable for injuries suffered by people who used these products or were exposed to issues that put them at risk of harm. Since asbestos is known to be dangerous, companies that allowed workers or consumers to be exposed to this substance may be required to pay compensation to those who have been injured. Victims of asbestos-related injuries and illnesses can work with an experienced attorney to determine their best options, and because large numbers of people have suffered harm due to these issues, they may be able to pursue mass torts and receive significant settlements as compensation for their damages.

Injuries and Illnesses Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that provides good insulation against heat and fire. However, when products containing asbestos are destroyed or disturbed, this can release tiny asbestos fibers into the air, and people may inhale these fibers. When asbestos fibers collect in the lungs, they can cause damage to lung tissue, or they may be absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, causing harm to multiple organs and tissues.

Mesothelioma is one of the most common and harmful conditions that can be caused by asbestos exposure. This type of cancer affects the membranes that line the lungs and chest cavity. It can cause tumors to form inside the chest or abdomen, causing damage to the lungs or other organs. While mesothelioma is generally incurable, certain treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy may be able to remove cancerous tissue and minimize the spread of cancer. The average life expectancy for a person diagnosed with mesothelioma is around one to two years. In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos exposure may increase the risks of lung cancer.

Asbestos Exposure FAQs

What Types of Products Contain Asbestos?

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was a commonly-used material in building products. Because it provides protection against fire, it was used in shingles, roofing, siding, drywall, floor and ceiling tiles, and insulation. It was also used to insulate pipes and ducts and in casings for electrical wiring, and certain types of paint, adhesives, plastics, and cement also contained asbestos. While newer homes and other buildings are less likely to contain asbestos, it is likely to be present in any buildings built before 1980.

Multiple other types of products may also contain asbestos, including fire-resistant fabrics, fireproof gloves, oven mitts and pot holders, garden products, and soundproofing materials. Asbestos has also been found to be mixed into talc products such as baby powder. Certain types of auto parts may also contain asbestos, including brake pads, spark plugs, and mufflers.

Who Is Most at Risk of Injury Due to Asbestos Exposure?

While any asbestos exposure is unsafe, people who have been exposed to asbestos on a regular basis are more likely to suffer serious health conditions. Workers in certain occupations are especially at risk, including construction or demolition workers who work in older buildings or use materials and products that may contain asbestos. Workers involved in shipbuilding and chemical manufacturing, firefighters, and workers who manufacture auto parts or perform repairs on older vehicles may also be exposed to asbestos. Secondary exposure can also occur when other people come into contact with asbestos fibers that accumulate on a person's clothes, skin, or hair.

Certain people may be at risk of asbestos exposure in the environment. People who live in older buildings may regularly come in contact with materials containing asbestos. Asbestos may also be released into the environment due to mining operations, the demolition of older buildings, or the use of asbestos in manufacturing or industrial settings.

What Are the Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Illnesses?

Since asbestos most commonly affects the lungs, a person may experience symptoms such as persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and pain or feelings of tightness in the chest. Signs of mesothelioma or lung cancer may include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss
  • Swelling in the face, neck, chest, or abdomen
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Coughing up blood

If a person experiences these symptoms and believes they have been exposed to asbestos in the past, multiple diagnostic tests may be performed, including chest X-rays and CT scans, as well as biopsies of lung tissue to determine whether asbestos fibers are present in the body.

Contact Our Illinois Asbestos Injury Attorney

While asbestos-related illnesses can be very serious, they can take a great deal of time to develop. In many cases, a person will not begin experiencing symptoms until multiple decades after the original exposure occurred. Because of this, it may be difficult to prove that mesothelioma or lung cancer was caused by a specific situation in which a person was placed at risk of asbestos exposure. To ensure that they can pursue compensation for asbestos-related injuries, a person will want to work with an attorney who can help them demonstrate that a product manufacturer or other party put them at risk. To get legal help with these issues and determine the best options for pursuing compensation, contact our firm today at 847-797-8000 and arrange a free consultation.

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