The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases are often not felt until decades after the initial exposure to the fibres. These fibres penetrate human tissues—especially those within the lungs—and can remain in them indefinitely. Close examinations are often needed to provide an accurate diagnosis, since many respiratory diseases generally have the same symptoms as asbestos-related diseases. The most common health complications associated with asbestos poisoning are: lung diseases, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and pleural plaques.
Who is at Risk?
In the past, mine workers and producers of commercial products containing asbestos were generally the ones that suffered from asbestos poisoning. However, research has shown that the tiny fibres can remain on different surfaces until they are finally inhaled. The implications of this were seen in the deteriorated health of family members that never worked with asbestos, but who were eventually poisoned due to contact with asbestos workers.
Many asbestos containing materials were used in the construction industry until the 1990s and still remain in many buildings in Australia. Some asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are in relatively good condition, but there are others that have succumbed to harsh weathering conditions. These generally have a crumb-like appearance that is easily disturbed. Renovators and tradesmen that are working on old buildings run the risk of being poisoned by asbestos if the necessary precautions are not taken. Homeowners, business owners, employees, and anyone that has asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in their surroundings are also at risk if the asbestos is damaged.
There is no cure for asbestos poisoning. Some victims have resorted to surgery, but the survival rate after the operation is usually not very impressive. However, much progress has been made in medicine to better understand and treat patients.
If you have been exposed to asbestos due to the negligence of another party, then you may be entitled to compensation. There are many avenues that ethical lawyers will take to ensure that you are fully compensated for all damages suffered due to asbestos poisoning. Only lawyers with experience in asbestos claims and litigation should be consulted to avoid delays.