Monday, May 2, 2016

Asbestos in the Construction Industry

Asbestos in the Construction Industry

The construction industry was among those that turned to asbestos for fireproofing and insulating in the manufacturing process of a wide array of parts, products, and materials. The material – fibrous mineral – was cheap and heat resistant, and was used widely as early as the 19th century. While asbestos offered utility and cost-savings, however, it has since been linked to serious health problems in the workers that built the industries that so often implemented the mineral’s thin fibers.

The problem: when asbestos is not completely contained, its fine fibers can be inhaled or swallowed. When this happens, the fibers become embedded in a layer of tissue in the chest and abdominal regions known as the mesothelium. Unable to expel the tiny asbestos fibers from the body, the mesothelium becomes compromised. The resulting illnesses, mesothelioma and or asbestosis, take a truly terrible toll on the body. The symptoms are like those of lung cancer, intense pain and difficult breathing, and typically surface between 20 and 50 years after exposure to asbestos.

The purpose of this article is to explain the types of processes in the construction industry that featured asbestos. If you were exposed to asbestos while working in the industry and are now experiencing symptoms consistent with mesothelioma or asbestosis, contact a skilled and dedicated mesothelioma attorney. An experienced attorney will fight for the compensation you are entitled to for you medical needs and pain and suffering.

Asbestos Commonly Used in Construction Industry for Many Years

From the nineteenth century to the early 1980s, asbestos was commonly used in building materials and other products in the construction industry. Pipe and boiler insulation, fireproofing on support beams and ceilings, tiles, and acoustical plaster were all commonly made with asbestos. Again, the reason for this was the durable, flexible, and heat-resistant nature of the group of mineral fibers that comprise asbestos. Because buildings last for a long time, the fact that the use of asbestos was discontinued in the wake of scientific evidence regarding its adverse health effects does not mean that you were not exposed to asbestos if you worked in the construction industry after the 1980s. This is because you may have come into contact with a building or materials that were made prior to the industry’s move away from asbestos use. The types of workers that may have been exposed to asbestos are many and include insulators, plumbers, electricians, pipe fitters, carpenters, sheet metal workers, building maintenance workers, telephone installers, demolition crews, and more. The commonality between these professions and health conditions like asbestosis and mesothelioma is the inhalation or swallowing of dust containing asbestos fibers.

Even if you retired from the industry many years ago, the aching chest pain, cough, and other symptoms you are now experiencing may stem from work-related exposure to asbestos. To discuss your legal and medical options, contact a skilled and experienced mesothelioma and asbestosis attorney.


Asbestos in the Construction Industry

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mesothelioma and the Automotive Industry

Mesothelioma and the Automotive Industry:  Asbestos-related illness, including mesothelioma and asbestosis, have caused serious health problems for individuals who worked in the automotive industry in the 20th century. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness or are experiencing symptoms and work or worked in the auto industry, contact an experienced mesothelioma and asbestos attorney. The suffering you and your loved ones are being forced to endure may be connected to your work in the automotive industry.

Asbestos Once Commonly Used in Automobile Parts

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos or are experiencing symptoms consistent with those illnesses and worked in the auto industry, you have surely asked three questions:

  • What is asbestos?

  • How was exposed to asbestos?

  • Why does asbestos cause health problems?

With regard to the first question, asbestos is mineral comprised of many fine fibers. Because asbestos possesses certain beneficial properties, such as heat resistance and the capacity to insulate, it was used widely in a number of commercial and industrial products. The automotive industry, especially prior to the late-1970’s, was one the industries to utilize asbestos – especially in the manufacturing of brake pads, brake shoes, gaskets, internal combustion parts, clutches, heat seals, hood lines, insulation and an array of other components. Asbestos was mixed into paint, threaded into fiberglass, and used in other applications.

Tragically, while asbestos may be beneficial to machines, it poses very serious health risks to human beings when its thin fibers are inhaled or swallowed during the process of manufacturing process. The reason for this is that when asbestos is inhaled, the human body is unable to expel it from the inner tissues of the chest and abdominal cavities. These inner tissues comprise the thin layer of cells known as the mesothelium. This layer of cells is also where the name for the illness “mesothelioma” comes from because it is these tissues that are gravely harmed by asbestos exposure.

Both mesothelioma and asbestosis cause immense pain, feature symptoms like those of lung cancer, and are fatal in their malignant cancerous forms. Unfortunately, because of the similarity of the symptoms of asbestos-related illness to those of lung cancer, the illness is difficult to diagnose until it has become cancerous and metastasized. Finally, both asbestosis and mesothelioma typically do not manifest until between 20 and 50 years after the initial exposure period

What to Do if You Have Mesothelioma or Asbestosis

Mesothelioma and the Automotive Industry:  Did you work in the automotive industry either before the late 1970’s or on cars and trucks that were originally manufactured before this time period? Did you work on brakes and/or clutches while in the industry? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, your health problems may be linked to exposure to asbestos in the auto industry. To discuss your legal and medical options, contact a compassionate and experienced mesothelioma and asbestos attorney today.



Mesothelioma and the Automotive Industry

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure:  Mesothelioma is a somewhat rare type of cancer that is difficult to diagnose, shares symptoms with lung cancer and asbestosis, and inflicts terrible pain on those afflicted by it. The purpose of this article is to explain what mesothelioma is, how it is linked to asbestos exposure, and what the medical and legal options are for the afflicted and their loved ones. If you or a loved one are suffering with mesothelioma or asbestosis, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney today.

Mesothelioma is the Signature Disease of Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is the signature disease of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a collection of minerals possessing fine microscopic fibers. These fibers are unique because they are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals, and do not conduct electric current. Because of these unique, flame-resistant characteristics, asbestos has been mined and used extensively in the construction, automotive, shipyards and ship building, steel mills, chemical plants, oil refineries, HVAC, and other industries. While these special fibers possess a certain utility in these industries, they pose serious risks to the workers and other individuals who come into contact with them. Specifically, if asbestos fibers are released into the air that workers breath during the manufacturing or construction processes, they can be breathed in or swallowed by the workers.

The inhalation or swallowing of asbestos fibers can lead to asbestosis or mesothelioma, both dire health problems. Science shows us that the relationship between workplace exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma and asbestosis is strong. Specifically, as many as 75% of mesothelioma cases can be linked to asbestos exposure at work. In addition, because the thin asbestos fibers can cling to the hair or clothes of workers, family members may also be exposed to asbestos when workers return home. This is often referred to as secondhand asbestos exposure.  The effects of asbestos exposure are far different than something like catching the common cold at work. On the contrary, mesothelioma symptoms commonly do not manifest until 20 to 50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos. When symptoms do appear, they affect the lungs and commonly include shortness of breath and chest pain. The pain, unfortunately, can be immense.

In its malignant cancerous form, mesothelioma may metastasize in the tissues and internal organs. While mesothelioma, in its cancerous form, is always fatal, proper diagnosis, treatment, and therapy can prolong both the quality and quantity of life.

What to Do if You are Exposed to Asbestos in the Workplace or by Secondhand Exposure

If you worked in an industry utilizing asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or are experiencing mesothelioma-like symptoms, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney. An experienced attorney will work to help you obtain the medical care you need for your condition, and financial care you deserve for both the cost of treatment and pain and suffering you are experiencing. For your health and legal rights, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney today.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

Monday, April 25, 2016

An Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney Can Help

Asbestos-related illnesses, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, cause immense suffering on both the afflicted and their loved ones. When one of these illnesses has been contracted through no fault of your own contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to help answer two questions that commonly arise:

  • What are the treatment options, and

  • How can I hold the individual, business, or institution responsible accountable for my suffering?

The answer to the first question is medical in nature. The answer to the second question is legal in nature. The purpose of this article is to explain the basics of both. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to discuss your legal options.

Mesothelioma is an Asbestos-Related Type of Cancer

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. In its malignant form, it encases the tissues of the lungs, heart, and other internal organs. These symptoms are similar to those of lung cancer and asbestosis. In addition, the cancer itself is somewhat rare, with only roughly 3,000 people newly diagnosed each year. The cause of this cancer is exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is very difficult to diagnose because of the similarity the symptoms it produces to those of lung cancer and asbestosis. This difficulty in diagnosis can itself cause difficulties in treatment if the underlying cause of the symptoms is not accurately identified at the outset. Such a delay in diagnosis can prove tragic, allowing the cancer to metastasize other tissues and organs more quickly in the absence of proper treatment.

Even if mesothelioma is diagnosed early, mesothelioma, nevertheless, is almost always fatal. Still, early diagnosis and proper treatment can lengthen the quality and quantity of life by months and in some cases even years. Moreover, medical experts work to utilize existing therapies, as well as to develop new ones to ameliorate the intense pain experienced by mesothelioma sufferers. The right and ability to receive the best therapies and medical care for mesothelioma is often bound up in the legal side of mesothelioma. This is where the skill of an experienced mesothelioma attorney comes into the picture. On the medical side, an experienced mesothelioma attorney can assist you in confirming a diagnosis with a mesothelioma specialist, and from there obtaining the best treatment and palliative care options available. On the legal side, a skilled attorney will fight for your rightful compensation for the financial burden that mesothelioma imposes.

Contacting an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney

Wouldn’t you like to be represented by an experienced mesothelioma attorney who knows firsthand the devastating effects of the illness? Attorney Michael Throneberry of the Throneberry Law Group lost his own father-in-law to mesothelioma. It was the witnessing of terrible toll taken on his father by mesothelioma that fuels his passion to fight for the rights of his mesothelioma clients. The types of compensation available to victims are many, and can make an immense difference. To discuss your legal and medical options, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney today.

An Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney Can Help

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Asbestos on the Job

Asbestos on the Job

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified more than 75 job fields where workers are exposed to asbestos. OSHA did not begin regulating asbestos until 1971. While efforts were made to dramatically reduce the amount of asbestos considered ‘permissible’ through the 1980s and 1990s, exposure is still possible.

Is Asbestos Still a Risk?

Even though asbestos is regulated, it is not banned in the United States. This means that there is still a presence in workplaces. Asbestos fibers can be so small, no one can see them. People can breathe in the fibers, which will then scar the lungs. Studies have shown that there is no amount of asbestos that can be considered ‘safe.’

The top five occupations most at-risk for exposure are:

  • Firefighters.  Fire quickly incinerates asbestos products, making them airborne particulates. Hundreds to possibly thousands of 9/11 first responders are to this day suffering from illnesses caused by inhaling asbestos products when the World Trade Center towers fell.

  • Construction Workers. Demolition crews tearing apart old buildings are at risk for exposure. Roofing and flooring materials are still made with asbestos. If you roof homes or help build new houses, you can be at-risk.

  • Industrial/Textile Workers. Specifically foremen, chemical workers, machine operators, and similar trade workers can be exposed to asbestos.

  • Power Plant Workers, who handle asbestos products every day as a matter of their regular work days. Acoustic plaster, hot tops, and mastic are but a few dangerous items they come in contact with on a regular basis.

  • Shipyard Workers. Almost 30% of mesothelioma lawsuits are filed by veterans and shipyard employees who all had to work around asbestos.

Can I Keep Myself Safe?

As stated earlier, there is no ‘safe’ amount of asbestos. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommendations for people to be safer around it. There are education programs, safety equipment your company should get for you, and other ways you can reduce your risk on your own.

OSHA has minimum standards for the construction industry, general industry, and shipyard employment. Any level of exposure can lead to disease from asbestos. In some cases when the legal limits of exposure are exceeded, OSHA requires companies to provide medical monitoring of their employees.

What Should I Do if I am at Risk?

Different occupations have different levels of risk associated with them. If you or other people you work with are coming down with mesothelioma or other diseases, you do not have to face that problem alone.

The length of exposure, the duties of your job, and other factors must be considered. Michael Throneberry has personal experience in handling asbestos claims. He and his law firm are ready to help you. Call them today because you should not be at risk of dying just because you want to work.

Asbestos on the Job

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mechanics and Asbestos Brakes

Mechanics and Asbestos Brakes

Asbestos was valuable for automotive brakes due to its heat resistance and strength with a concentration of estimated to be 30 to 80%. Mechanics working on vehicles (both in the past and in the present) that use brake pads containing asbestos fibers are at risk for asbestos exposure. Examples of brakes containing asbestos include but are not limited to:

Allied Signal Friction King Disc Brake Pads (1979-1987);

Bendix Disc Brake Pads (1963-1988); and

Ferodo Brake Pads (1923-1998).

Asbestos linings are also still in use in high-end imports like the Land Rover. Domestically, asbestos is regulated. Foreign manufacturers, on the other hand, have free reign and can use asbestos materials if they so choose. There are no laws on the books that require such products that contain asbestos to be labeled as such.

Brake Mechanics and Asbestos Exposure

An investigation into asbestos litigation done by Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity revealed that Ford may have thought it had something to lose and so the company invested nearly $40 million for consultants. These “experts” concluded there is no evidence that putting asbestos in brake shoes and linings leads to mesothelioma.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seems to have different thoughts regarding the risk to asbestos exposure when working with brakes. OSHA recommends using a wet cleaning solution or enclosure when working with brake components because of evidence of chrysotile and tremolite asbestos in the lungs among brake mechanics.

Even though the science is clear about asbestos fibers in brake pads, big corporations still fight to try and minimize their role in the asbestos exposure to brake mechanics.

Take on the Corporate Giant

There are always two sides to every case, and if the case does not settle, a jury will decide the weight of the expert opinion testimony. It is important to gather information early, such as:

When did you start your job working with brake pads? and

How often were you working with the brake pads (8hrs/day, 40hrs/week)?

The attorneys at The Throneberry Law Group will help you organize your case and gather the materials you need. It will begin with a free consultation. The Throneberry Law Group will travel across country if that is what it takes to be able to represent you. Call 888-506-1131 today to set up an appointment.

Mechanics and Asbestos Brakes

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Firsthand and Secondhand Asbestos Exposure

Firsthand and Secondhand Asbestos Exposure:  The air we breathe might not seem to be at the forefront of one’s mind, as we expect it to be free and clean of toxins. This, however, is not a perfect world and the environment is prone to have its flaws. One flaw is asbestos and its tricky fibers that fill the air around us, oftentimes without us knowing. Asbestos exposure is actually more common than people realize, and even today those who have been exposed might not know it.

Silent but Potentially Deadly

Asbestos exposure is no joke. Exposure to asbestos particles can cause such diseases as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. At least eight million Americans have had sufficient exposure to asbestos, either through firsthand exposure at work, or using commercial products containing it, or through secondhand exposure such as cleaning the clothes of someone who is exposed to a significant amount of asbestos.

Firsthand Asbestos Exposure

An obvious way to be exposed to asbestos is through inhalation (breathing the fibers into your lungs). The second, less common exposure pathway is ingestion, or swallowing asbestos fibers.

Aside from the natural fibers in the air we breathe, certain places and environments are more susceptible to harmful amounts of asbestos. For example, many Veterans who worked in shipyards or on navy vessels were exposed to asbestos in areas where it was used for insulation. Asbestos resists corrosion and high temperatures and can be used to insulate many common things such as boilers, turbines and pumps.

Miners and construction workers can also be exposed on a daily basis. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has estimated that 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry are exposed to asbestos on the job doing things such as repair and maintenance.

Secondhand Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is not just prevalent in those who breathe it on a daily basis. It can resonate at home and in the community as well. Take, for instance, the many wives and children of those who worked in the shipyards during World War II. The fibers transferred to the workers’ clothing, causing the families to fall ill. More recently, in Alabama, a family was awarded a $3.5 million verdict because the mother was exposed to secondhand asbestos and died from mesothelioma. The family sued the Tennessee Valley Authority alleging that she was exposed to asbestos fibers while washing her husband’s work clothes over the span of about 20 years.

Get the Help You Need

Firsthand and secondhand asbestos exposure can have different effects on each individual person. The length of exposure, the time frame, and other medical factors can determine how much compensation you may receive depending on your diagnosis. Michael Throneberry has personal experience, extensive knowledge, and is not limited geographically. Contact the Throneberry Law Group today at 888-506-1131 for your free consultation.

Firsthand and Secondhand Asbestos Exposure