Found in soil and rocks, asbestos is actually a mineral fiber that has considerable strength and can be heat resistant. The characteristics of this fiber made it desirable early on and there was a boom with its use in construction for the purpose of insulating structures and protecting against fires. While this is one of its more common uses, it was also turned into or put into tiles, packaging, coatings, certain car parts, paper and more. Asbestos was used more often in the past before it was understood how harmful it could be. Today the use of is it is far more limited but not all areas have had it eradicated workers are sometimes placed in a location that they do not recognize as being harmful to them. It may be used in attics, fabrics meant to repel heat, rood tiles, furnaces and more. Some of its uses are now banned under the law, but not all of them are regulated against. They effects may not show themselves for years either, so many of the victims are just now feeling the effects of the exposure.
The fibers of it can be in the air after something disturbed the item that is carrying it. This can cause it to enter the lungs of the person breathing in since they may be unaware of its presence and are not wearing a face mask. In order to cause harm, the exposure typically needs to be over a period of time, as opposed to an isolated event. It can lead to a number of health issues, with some of the most common being mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Asbestosis is when the fibers get into the lungs and cause fibrosis. It is also referred to as the scarring of the lungs and can be seen by excessive fiber tissue which makes it challenging to breath. Many workers are an asbestos exposed area every day. Years after their job they may become diagnosed and the trail of where it was developed can often lead back to a job they had with a company that didn't protect them as they should.
There are different types of asbestos and each of them has the potential to cause serious illness. There have been thousands of deaths recorded as a result of asbestos exposure since it was discovered that it was toxic. It is believed by some that the government learned of its toxic nature long before they released the information to the public. Some of the effects of exposure can lead to serious medical needs that require extensive attention. This can be costly for the victims and families and in many cases there is reason for compensation to be sought. Contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer from Hartley & O'Brien to find out if you have a valid reason to take legal action.