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Asbestos exposure, mesothelioma more common than you may think

The vast majority of people in South Carolina have likely been exposed to asbestos at some point in their life. While even small amounts of asbestos can be extremely detrimental to human health, most people will not develop mesothelioma as a result of brief, one-off exposures. However, for those who do, the results can be life-altering and devastating.

Because of its once frequent use in construction, homes built prior to the 1980s usually contain at least some asbestos. While those living in these homes might experience minimal exposure, individuals who routinely work with asbestos -- such as in the mining or manufacturing industries -- have much higher rates of developing asbestos-related diseases. Construction workers, firefighters, military personnel and others in related industries also suffer from higher rates of disease.

The problem is probably more common than most might think. Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year, and the majority of diagnoses are traced directly back to asbestos exposure. For patients whose mesothelioma is definitively linked to asbestos, the exposure generally happened decades in the past. This passage of time between exposure and the development of disease causes many people to miss this important link.

Some employers or negligent parties in South Carolina are quick to brush off the dangerous nature of asbestos. Unfortunately, this flippant attitude often culminates in asbestos exposure that leads to devastating health effects in victims. Victims who develop mesothelioma may choose to pursue a civil claim against the parties believed negligent, seeking compensation for their financial, physical and emotional damages.

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