<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/978313995/?value=0&guid=ON&script=0"/> </div>

Mesothelioma & Asbestosis

Do You Have Questions?

complete the form to get more information

* indicates required

W&G Helps Clients with Asbestos-Related Diseases

The law firm of Wallace & Graham, P.A. has over 20 years experience in helping North Carolina employees who have been injured by occupational exposure to asbestos with their workers’ compensation claims as well as claims in State and Federal Courts. We have successfully represented thousands of employees to obtain their just legal benefits.

Many of the early cases handled by this firm were for people who worked in asbestos manufacturing facilities or who had heavy exposure to asbestos while working for the railroads or shipyards (where there have been an increasing number of Navy veteran mesothelioma cases occurring due to asbestos exposure.)

This was soon followed by insulators. Up until the mid 1970’s (and sometime even thereafter), insulators had day in and day out exposure to asbestos while installing asbestos insulation on pipes, tanks, valves, vessels, boilers, turbines, and the like.

Up through the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s, few insulators had any restrictions applied to them concerning the removal of old asbestos insulation. As a result, insulators would frequently go into a plant for repair work and remove miles of asbestos insulation.

Asbestos is the name of a group of highly fibrous minerals with separable, long, and thin fibers. Separated asbestos fibers are strong enough and flexible enough to be spun and woven. Regulatory agencies such as the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognize six asbestos minerals:

Chrysotile, a serpentine mineral with long and flexible fibers
Amphibole (with relatively brittle crystalline fibers)
Actinolite asbestos
Tremolite asbestos
Anthophyllite asbestos
Crocidolite asbestos
Amosite asbestos

Asbestos minerals have separable long fibers that are strong and flexible enough to be spun and woven into cloth and other products. However, its most important quality is that it is heat resistant. This quality has been known for more than 2,000 years.

Asbestos was named by the Ancient Greeks, its name meaning "inextinguishable".  It was used for a variety of purposes by the Greeks who noted its harmful biological effects and they observed the "sickness of the lungs" in the slaves that wove asbestos into cloth.

Asbestos use became most popular during the Industrial Revolution beginning in the late 1800s. It then began to be used as insulation for steam pipes, turbines, boilers, kilns, ovens, and other high-temperature products. Ancient observations of the health risks of asbestos were either forgotten or ignored. 

Asbestos mainly affects the lungs and the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers may result in scar-like tissue in the lungs and in the pleural membrane (lining) that surrounds the lung.

Pleural Abnormalities

Persons with significant exposure to asbestos are at risk for developing various types of pleural (lining of the lungs) abnormalities. Changes in the lining of the lungs (pleura) such as thickening, plaques, calcification, and fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion) may be early signs of asbestos exposure.

Effects on breathing from pleural diseases alone are not usually serious, but higher exposure can lead to a thickening of the pleural membrane that may restrict breathing.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term disease of the lungs. Asbestosis is not a cancer. Inhaling asbestos fibers that irritate and inflame lung tissues, causing the lung tissues to scar, causes asbestosis.

The scarring makes it hard to breathe and difficult for oxygen and carbon dioxide pass through the lungs.

Asbestosis generally progresses slowly. The latency period for the onset of asbestosis is typically 10-20 years after the initial exposure. The disease can vary from asymptomatic (no symptoms) to disabling and potentially fatal Signs and Symptoms of asbestosis can include:

Shortness of breath is the primary symptom
A persistent and productive cough (a cough that expels mucus)
Chest tightness
Chest pain
Loss of appetite
A dry, crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling. 

Asbestosis is a serious disease and can eventually lead to disability and in some cases, death. There is no cure for asbestosis and the health effects from asbestos exposure may continue to progress even after exposure is stopped. Furthermore, while the workers who are exposed to asbestos are at the greatest risk, there is also a risk for family members.

Asbestos fibers can attach to the clothing of the worker and then be brought home. Family members who wash the clothes of those exposed to asbestos are also at risk.

Cancer

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the World Health Organization, and the EPA have determined that asbestos is a human carcinogen. In short, it is well known that breathing asbestos can increase the risk of cancer in people. There are various types of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos with the two most common being lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin lining surrounding the lung (pleural membrane) or abdominal cavity (the peritoneum). Cancer from asbestos does not develop immediately, but shows up after a number of years. Studies of workers also suggest that breathing asbestos can increase chances of getting cancer in other parts of the body (stomach, intestines, esophagus, pancreas, and kidneys). Early identification and treatment of any cancer can increase an individual's quality of life and survival.

Cigarette smoke and asbestos together significantly increase your chances of getting lung cancer. Therefore, if you have been exposed to asbestos you should stop smoking. This may be the most important action that you can take to improve your health and decrease your risk of cancer.

Lung cancer is a malignant tumor that invades and obstructs the lung's air passages. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are cough, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood, and labored breathing.

Other symptoms of lung cancer include shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, hoarseness, and anemia. People who develop these symptoms do not necessarily have lung cancer, but they should consult a physician for advice.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which may affect the lining of the lings (pleura) or the abdominal contents (peritoneum). Most mesotheliomas are caused by exposure to asbestos. As a matter of fact, In the United States, there is no other known proven cause of mesothelioma other than asbestos. Tumors of the mesothelium can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Since malignant mesothelioma is much more common than benign mesothelioma it is often simply called mesothelioma. Characteristics of a malignant tumor are that it has the ability to spread to other parts of the body, making it much more dangerous.

Approximately three-fourths of mesothelioma cases start in the chest cavity and are known as pleural mesothelioma. Another 10% to 20% begin in the abdomen and are called peritoneal mesothelioma. Those starting in the cavity around the heart, or pericardial mesothelioma, are very rare. The covering layer of the testicles is actually an outpouching of peritoneum into the scrotum. Mesothelioma that affects this covering of the testicles is quite uncommon.

Mesothelioma is still fairly rare. There are about 2,000 to 3,000 new cases per year in the United States. Most of the people who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are over fifty years old and is seen more often with people in their seventies, since they were exposed to asbestos in the 1940s-50s or earlier. Those who were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s-70s may be diagnosed in years to come. The disease attacks men 3 to 5 times more than women. Men are more likely then women to get this disease because men held more construction positions than women in past decades (before the women's rights movement had taken place).

Mesothelioma is also more common to Caucasians than in African Americans. Even though this disease is rare it is very serious. By the time it is diagnosed it is often in its advanced stages, making the outlook not as good as it is for other cancers that are found earlier. The average survival time is about 1 to 2 years after being diagnosed. Of course, survival rates are increasing due to advances in medical technology and new treatments that are being developed for mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma has been diagnosed in asbestos workers, family members, and residents who live close to asbestos mines.

Workers afflicted with asbestos-related illnesses have brought lawsuits against their employers, the manufacturers of the asbestos products and the sites where asbestos was located. Many companies knew that asbestos was dangerous but did little or nothing to protect those workers exposed. The initial lawsuits served as warnings to the asbestos companies, and afterwards they tried to cover up the health effects of asbestos.

Asbestos companies continued to use asbestos in manufacturing and construction until it was banned. Despite that many materials, such as fiberglass insulation, were created to replace asbestos, companies that used asbestos ignored the safer alternatives. They ignored the danger for the sake of profits, much like the tobacco industry.

The conduct of the asbestos companies is especially egregious, however, because the victims were largely exploited workers who were unaware of the serious health risks they were exposed to on a daily basis. The law firm of Wallace & Graham has many years of experience in helping employees who have been injured by occupational exposure to asbestos. We have represented thousands of workers in obtaining compensation for a disease that they should never have incurred.

Wallace & Graham have extensive experience helping individuals from all walks of life with their asbestos claims. William Graham has extensive experience working with Navy veteran asbestos exposure victims attain the legal and medical help they need to protect their legal rights.

Mesothelioma is a lethal cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Since its founding, the law firm of Wallace & Graham has assisted many victims of mesothelioma, including Navy veteran asbestos exposure victims, in seeking and obtaining legal relief and damages for their exposure to asbestos and their serious illness.

Companies manufacturing, selling, distributing and using asbestos products have known for years that it is a harmful substance. However, many of these companies for years did not warn workers and consumers about these risks. Thus, if you or someone you love has mesothelioma, you may have a right to recover damages.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which may affect the lining of the lings (pleura) or the abdominal contents (peritoneum). Most mesotheliomas are caused by exposure to asbestos. As a matter of fact, in the United States, there is no other known proven cause of mesothelioma other than asbestos.

Tumors of the mesothelium can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Since malignant mesothelioma is much more common than benign mesothelioma it is often simply called mesothelioma.

Characteristics of a malignant tumor are that it has the ability to spread to other parts of the body, making it much more dangerous.

Approximately three-fourths of mesothelioma cases start in the chest cavity and are known as pleural mesothelioma. Another 10% to 20% begin in the abdomen and are called peritoneal mesothelioma. Those starting in the cavity around the heart, or pericardial mesothelioma, are very rare. The covering layer of the testicles is actually an out pouching of peritoneum into the scrotum. Mesothelioma that affects this covering of the testicles is quite uncommon.

Mesothelioma is still fairly rare. There are about 2,000 to 3,000 new cases per year in the United States. Most of the people who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are over fifty years old and it is seen more often with people in their seventies, since they were exposed to asbestos in the 1940s-50s or earlier. Those who were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s-70s may be diagnosed in years to come. The disease attacks men 3 to 5 times more than women.

Men are more likely then women to get this disease because men held more construction positions than women in past decades (before the women's rights movement had taken place).

Even though this disease is rare it is very serious. By the time it is diagnosed it is often in its advanced stages, making the outlook not as good as it is for other cancers that are found earlier. The average survival time is about 1 to 2 years after being diagnosed. Of course, survival rates are increasing due to advances in medical technology and new treatments that are being developed for mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma has been diagnosed in asbestos workers, family members, and residents who live close to asbestos mines. If you believe you or someone you love may have mesothelioma, you are advised to see your doctor immediately. For legal assistance, please call 800.849.5291 or email us. If you believe you or someone you love may have mesothelioma, you are advised to see your doctor immediately.

FAQ's


How is there asbestos exposure in the workplace or your home?
How rare is the disease?
Which type of mesothelioma or asbestos cancer have you been diagnosed with?
What diseases does asbestos cause?
What is asbestos?
Is asbestos exposure the cause of Mesothelioma?
What is Mesothelioma?
How do I know if my cancer or disease was caused by my employment?
How do I know if my cancer or disease was caused by my employment?
What are the medical options for treatment?
How does asbestos affect the human body?