Asbestos - The Silent Killer
Asbestos is the single biggest work place killer today. People who have worked with the material are at serious risk from developing lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, fatal respiratory illnesses that debilitate their victims. Evidence of asbestos' deadly effect on those who breathe its fibres is likely to multiply in the decades to come.
Asbestos was once heralded as the greatest building material available to those in the construction industries. Its high tensile strength, durability and flexibility, as well as heat insulation and fire retardant properties meant that it could save lives, make buildings strong and make industries rich. It was first used by the Greeks some 2000 years ago. They were aware of the health hazards it posed but believed that its magical ability to withstand fire far outweighed this danger.
The dangers to health were all but 'forgotten' until at the turn of the twentieth century when medical researchers noticed a large number of deaths and lung problems occurring in asbestos mining towns. In 1917 and 1918, several United States studies discovered that asbestos workers were dying unnaturally young.
Asbestosis was first diagnosed in a 33 year old woman in 1924, this lead to studies being carried out on asbestos workers in the UK. Examinations on the workers showed that thirty percent had asbestos-related lung disease. UK laws were introduced in 1931 to increase ventilation and to make asbestosis an identifiable work related illness.
Despite the established link between asbestos and lung diseases the industry continued to grow well into the last century. At the peak of its usage asbestos was produced in 24 countries worldwide; it was also manufactured in over 100. World production climaxed at over 5 million tonnes. The building, shipping, insulation and demolition companies whose workers came into contact with asbestos were often aware that their staff were at risk. They did not take sufficient steps to protect their workforce from personal injury.
Sadly the effects of asbestos take many years to manifest themselves. People who worked in the construction industries some 20 to 40 years ago may still be awaiting their fate. Asbestos causes several diseases, two of which occur only in those who have had contact with asbestos, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Lung cancer and emphysema are more commonly associated with smoking but frequently occur in non smokers with a history of asbestos contact.
It is thought that the worst is yet to come. The peak of asbestos usage was in the 60's and 70's so many people may develop lung diseases in the near future.
Due to the latency of asbestos diseases it is thought that we will be seeing many more incidences of mesothelioma in the next 25 years. Hugh Robertson, head of health and safety at the British TUC says: "A realistic estimate is that within the EU alone 500,000 will die in the next 35 years, half from mesothelioma and half from lung cancer. In Japan, an estimated 100,000 will die. If you add the Australian, Canadian and US figures then even a million is an under estimation ? and that is only for the developed countries."
People affected by asbestos are entitled to compensation from the companies who knowingly exposed them many years ago.
People affected by asbestos related illness should speak to a personal injury solicitor who has experience in asbestos cases.
For free legal advice visit www.youclaim.co.uk to learn more about asbestos and to make a claim, or alternatively you can call us on 0800 10 757 95.
YouClaims' solicitors have many years experience of handling asbestos related claims. They help people rebuild their future following exposure to the deadly effects of asbestos.
Editorial notes: YouClaim provides full accident litigation compensation services. Helps people to claim compensation for all types of injury from whiplash to head injuries.
By Sophie Evans
L&S Announce Steps to Protect Against Asbestos & Mesothelioma
Lewis and Sholnick have announced the publication of some simple precautionary steps can be taken to avoid high risk situations in regards to asbestos and mesothelioma.
The Asbestos Disaster - Who Is To Blame
The ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians were all aware of the health dangers of asbestos. It seems strange that the asbestos industry in many parts of the world chose to ignore the risks.
Mesothelioma or Asbestos Cancer
Mesothelioma: What is it?
Screening for Mesothelioma
Doctor appointments are critical to make sure you're staying in proper health. However, exposure to asbestos presents an added urgency for routine appointments. Because asbestos related diseases take decades to form, early detection is critical for proper treatment. People who have jobs in industries like construction, shipbuilding and manufacturing are particularly susceptible of contracting these conditions.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma the medical name for cancer of the pleura (the lining of the lung and chest cavity) or cancer of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen). It is usually caused by prolonged or persistent exposure to asbestos.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an extremely nasty and permanent cancer that infects the membrane surrounding most internal organs. It is also a very subtle form of cancer providing only a few noticeable symptoms until it becomes extremely advanced. The most common type of mesothelioma is called pleural mesothelioma. It causes shortness of breath and/or chronic coughing that can easily be mixed up with allergies or a common cold. In many cases mesothelioma is discovered by accident when patients are looking into these symptoms. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
Protect Against Mesothelioma by Avoiding Asbestos
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that attacks the body's mesothelial cells around the organs. The mesothelium provides a protective membranous lining for the internal organs and allows moving organs (i.e. the heart and the lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures. The names of the three regions of mesothelial cells that provide protective coating are 1) pleura, the sac which surrounds the lungs; 2) peritoneum, the lining which protects the abdominal cavity; and 3) pericardium, the sac which surrounds the heart. Three different types of mesothelioma cancer attack these three different regions.
Knee Deep in Asbestos
When I was 17 old I started working at an asbestos mine in the Yukon. I had the excitement of youth and looked on the thing as a big adventure.
Like all other types of cancer, mesothelioma is incurable. Although doctors and scientists have made a great deal of progress for diagnosing and treating these malignancies, there is still no current way to completely get rid of it.
How Is Mesothelioma Treated?
Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles. However, they may have been been exposed to asbestos dust and fibre in other ways. This could include working with asbestos or by home renovation using asbestos cement products or even by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos. The resulting disease is rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body's internal organs.
Mesothelioma in the UK
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the external lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). The disease has been linked to exposure with asbestos dust. Cancer of this kind is uncommon and rarely is a result of anything other than asbestos exposure. It is also very difficult to diagnose. Tumors of the mesothelieum can be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Most mesothelial tumors are malignant. However this disease is not very responsive to therapy.
Malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum). Most people with malignant mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they breathed asbestos.
Mesothelioma Information Help
Depending on the stage of the disease, the most common treatments are surgical removal of the affected tissues, chemotherapy, or radiation. There is some concern that research into mesothelioma will be minimal, because it is projected to be a short-lived disease in terms of new cases after the next 30 years. However, new research is consistently providing physicians with alternate forms of therapy, and there are many intense studies into control and cure of the disease, so those diagnosed with mesothelioma do have many options and a lot of hope.
Tragically the word mesothelioma is becoming more and more well known, the mere mention of it striking fear into all of us for we know that it is associated with death. Asbestos is the reaper, mesothelioma its hand maiden.
Is Replacing the Lungs the Answer to Lung Cancer?
Late stage lung cancers are some of the hardest to treat, but in the future scientists maybe able to grow human lungs and simply remove and replace the damaged lung. So far it appears that major steps have been made to make this feasible for lung transplants. In the United Kingdom a specialized team of researchers at the Imperial College London used embryonic stem cells and had them grow into cells found in the lungs of adults. Lung cells, which allow oxygen to cross into the blood stream where made. Although this maybe a decade or so away, it is possible to make this procedure a simple process. It is also theoretically possible to make these tissues from other types of adult stem cells, which avoids the political stem cell debates, which have been a firestorm of controversy, between religious doctrines and modern bio scientists. Currently it is hard for a lung cancer victim to get a transplant, which is a close enough match for a viable risk of rejection, but this could change all that some day.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer involving mesothelial tissues of body organs usually lungs or abdominal. It is often caused by exposure to asbestos. However, there are 30-50% of patients without any history of asbestos exposure. People who have received asbestos exposure of as little as one or two months to very low doses are at risk of mesothelioma cancer. Even people who wash clothes of asbestos exposed people are at risk. A person exposed to asbestos could develop mesothelioma after 50 years of exposure.
Beryllium The New Asbestos?
It was American workers on the world's first atomic bomb who became the first industrial victims of beryllium, a rare but especially light, stable and strong metal whose toxic dust can kill those who breathe it.
How to Treat Mesothelioma from Asbestos Exposure
There are many forms of treatment for Mesothelioma. Their effectiveness is on a cases by case basis. Here are five possible treatments that have been used:
Asbestos Killed My Husband
He was only a child when it begun -and he played as children do- in his yardwith his toy cars and tip trucksBut his sand was asbestos blue?
Lung Cancer: The Bad and the Worse
In terms of deaths caused by various forms of cancer, lung cancer ranks second only to breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute recently reported that an estimated 172,570 new cases of lung cancer will be reported this year and that 163,510 American will die from this disease.
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