Although the United States government put bans and severe limitations on the use and production of asbestos products in 1972, thousands of Americans continue to be diagnosed with asbestos related diseases every year. Because of the delayed effects of asbestos exposure, people do not begin to develop mesothelioma, asbestosis, malignant lung cancer and other types of cancer until decades after the initial exposure.
Nearly all of these diseases are developed after working at high heat industrial operations such as steel mills, chemical plants, shipyards, power plants and other manufacturing facilities. People who have never worked in one of these at-risk industries can still be put in danger if a family member was employed there. Because asbestos fibers can stick to clothes and hair, they can be easily transferred from the workplace to the home, where spouses and children can breathe in the dangerous substance.
Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer and Asbestosis
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer in the lining of the heart, abdomen and, most commonly, the lungs, and is not developed until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. A person can develop mesothelioma even after minimal asbestos exposure, which makes it the most dangerous of all asbestos-related diseases. Although there is not yet a cure for mesothelioma, chemotherapy is commonly used to delay the progression of the disease.
Asbestos exposure can also cause malignant lung cancer. Although a lung cancer diagnosis is typically attributed to cigarette smoking, the risk of developing the disease is significantly increased for smokers who were also exposed to asbestos.
Long term asbestos exposure can also cause asbestosis, a disease which limits lung capacity and causes breathing difficulties. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they scratch the lining of the lungs and cause scar tissue to build up, which leads to shortness of breath. Although asbestosis is non-cancerous, the shortness of breath is sometimes so severe that it can be fatal.
Companies in Michigan that are known to have exposed employees to asbestos include Dow Chemical in Midland, Great Lakes Steel, Detroit Edison power plants, Consumer Power plants, the Ford Rouge steel plant and McLouth Steel. If you or a family member have worked in one of these places or in similar industries and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer, contact a Michigan asbestos mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible.
Prolonged asbestos exposure can also lead to the development of other cancers, such as stomach, throat and colon-rectal cancer.
Because mesothelioma and asbestos exposure cases are so complex, it is important to contact a Michigan mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. To prove that asbestos exposure caused you or a loved one to develop lung cancer, asbestosis or mesothelioma, a Michigan mesothelioma attorney needs to successfully identify the products that the victim was exposed to. The patient is the best source of information and can provide details most helpful to a lawyer, so it is important to consult an attorney before the patient becomes too sick. Experienced Michigan mesothelioma lawyers are well prepared to gather the evidence and information needed to establish a strong case against the manufacturers of harmful asbestos products.
About the Author
Mr. Gene Zamler is the founder of the law firm of Zamler, Mellen & Shiffman, P.C. He has been a practicing partner for 41 years, with expertise as a Michigan personal injury attorney. At Zamler, Mellen & Shiffman, P.C., we know how to use the law to pursue compensation for people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our Michigan personal injury lawyers have helped over 150,000 people and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients in personal injury cases.