Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC
We can help. Call today: 866-594-8765

Mesothelioma: An illness caused by asbestos exposure

From the 1940s through 1970s, many blue-collar American workers earned their livings in careers that exposed them to asbestos. This list commonly included construction workers, machine operators, pipefitters, boilermakers, trade laborers and mechanics.

Decades later, many have become sick with asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma, a type of cancer in the lining of the chest cavity that usually proves fatal.

Asbestos found in homes, industries

Asbestos is a fire-retardant material and thermal and acoustic insulator often used in home construction and other industries. In the home and workplace, it can found in insulation around boilers, furnaces and pipes as well as household materials such as vinyl floor tiles, linoleum, roofing material and plaster.

When asbestos gets damaged, it can become airborne and its fibers easily inhaled. This is how many American workers became ill and were diagnosed with mesothelioma and other illnesses such as lung cancer and asbestosis. Symptoms include a dry cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue and pain in the chest or abdomen.

The average age that a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma is 73. The median life expectancy of a person with this disease is from 12 to 21 months, and there is no known cure.

A number of at-risk occupations

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health notes that more than 75 occupational groups have exposed workers to asbestos. Here is a list of the occupations most at-risk for being exposed to asbestos. They include:

  • Construction workers: Many construction products contained asbestos before the 1980s. The most at risk within this group are demolition crews and home renovators.
  • Firefighters: Fires damage asbestos products, causing the fibers to go airborne. Asbestos also was used for protective firefighter clothing, helmets and boots.
  • Industrial workers: This group includes mechanics, trade laborers, chemical workers and machine operators, and has often been exposed to asbestos paper, textiles, gaskets, insulation and fireproofing.
  • Power plant workers: A study noted that asbestos was present in the sputum (mixture of saliva and mucus) samples of 33 percent of power plant workers.
  • Shipyard workers: An estimated 30 percent of mesothelioma lawsuits get filed by veterans and shipyard workers.

You just didn't know that the work you performed years ago would expose you to such illnesses, and the symptoms would only arrive decades later. It doesn't seem fair, but now your family must deal with the situation. You can hope that other families may learn from your story.


No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
AV Preeminent
Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | US News | 2020
2015 Top Ranked Law Firms AV Preeminent
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC 2018 - Recognized by Best Lawyers
Email Us For A Response

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with mesothelioma? Contact RPWB for help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Mount Pleasant Office
1037 Chuck Dawley Boulevard Building A
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Toll Free: 866-594-8765
Phone: 843-410-3956
Fax: 843-216-6509
Mount Pleasant Law Office Map

Edwardsville Office
Mark Twain Plaza II 103 West Vandalia Street Suite 212
Edwardsville, IL 62025

Toll Free: 866-594-8765
Phone: 843-410-3956
Fax: 843-216-6509
Edwardsville Law Office Map

Charleston Office
174 East Bay Street P.O. Box 879
Charleston, SC 29402

Toll Free: 866-594-8765
Phone: 843-410-3956
Fax: 843-216-6509
Charleston Law Office Map

Barnwell Office
1730 Jackson Street P.O.Box 1368
Barnwell, SC 29812

Toll Free: 866-594-8765
Phone: 843-410-3956
Fax: 843-216-6509
Barnwell Law Office Map

Aiken Office
623 Richland Ave W
Aiken, SC 29801

Phone: 803-541-9625
Fax: 843-216-6509
Aiken Law Office Map

Columbia Office
2700 Middleburg Dr #220d
Columbia, SC 29204

Phone: 803-541-7850
Fax: 843-216-6509
Columbia Law Office Map