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Asbestos Exposure And Mesothelioma

Last updated on July 22, 2024

The dangers of asbestos exposure have been documented since the start of the 20th Century. However, throughout the 1900s, asbestos manufacturers continued to produce countless consumer products containing harmful materials—including construction materials, military ships, and even everyday goods like baby powder. Even today, there is no U.S. law banning the use of asbestos.

Asbestos exposure leads to numerous negative health effects and several forms of cancer, including mesothelioma. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Hovde Dassow + Deets, we strive to hold asbestos manufacturers and other liable parties accountable for the widespread harm they have caused. Our Indianapolis mesothelioma attorneys are here to represent you and your rights, all while seeking the maximum compensation you are owed.

Contact us online or call our office at 888-229-1778 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Mesothelioma And Talcum Lawsuits

In some cases, mesothelioma may be caused by exposure to talc. This link was debated for years, with companies claiming talcum powder was safe. It was often used for common skin treatments and hygiene purposes. Many types of baby powder contain talc, for instance, and people would apply it daily.

Researchers have now found a clear link between cancer and talcum powder use, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer claims that it is officially a carcinogen or a cancer-causing substance.

To determine this link, researchers started by considering known mesothelioma patients. They then looked back into these patients’ personal grooming and health habits. As noted above, talcum powder was often used cosmetically. Researchers were able to identify more than 100 situations in which the person who had been diagnosed knew they hadn’t been exposed to asbestos outside of this talc use. They weren’t breathing asbestos in at work, for instance, if it had been used in old insulation, flooring tiles or other such applications. The patients had only used talcum powder, often for personal hygiene reasons.

This study eliminated the chances that mesothelioma could have developed because of other types of asbestos exposure, clearly showing that talcum powder was primarily or solely responsible.

Talc use was more common with female patients in this study as opposed to male patients, and there were also parents who had used baby power on their children. This long-term exposure, especially at an early age, could lead to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma or pleural mesothelioma in the future.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Although it has several causes, mesothelioma is most often the result of asbestos exposure. This is particularly true with pleural mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and chest cavity (pleura).

Asbestos is a fibrous material comprised of several naturally occurring minerals. When disturbed, asbestos releases microscopic fibers into the air, which can then be breathed in by those nearby. Once inhaled, these fibers can become lodged in the pleural lining of the lungs, as well as various other areas of the body, such as the abdomen. The body will naturally attempt to dislodge these fibers. This process can lead to various illnesses, including mesothelioma.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mesothelioma?

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma differ somewhat depending on the type of cancer an individual has. For example, pain is likely to concentrate near or around the affected area (abdomen, chest, etc.).

However, some general signs of mesothelioma include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive sweating

Mesothelioma of all types may also cause blood clots, which can be fatal.

Pleural mesothelioma is by far the most common type of mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma has no known cure, though treatment can prolong an individual’s life expectancy and help ease some cancer symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the side of the chest
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Swelling of the arms and/or face

Unfortunately, because mesothelioma has such a long latency period—it can take years or even decades after the initial asbestos exposure and/or development of cancerous cells for symptoms to appear—mesothelioma is often not diagnosed until it has progressed to more advanced stages. As a result, the life expectancy of someone diagnosed with mesothelioma is considered relatively short.

Who Is Most At Risk Of Developing Mesothelioma?

Anyone exposed to asbestos fibers for a prolonged period of time is at risk of developing mesothelioma. Because asbestos has been historically used in a wide range of consumer products, this puts the general public at risk. However, certain individuals—including many types of workers—have a significantly higher chance of having been exposed to asbestos fibers and, therefore, developing mesothelioma.

According to numerous studies, the following individuals have an increased risk of having been/being exposed to asbestos:

  • Industrial workers
  • Miners
  • Shipyard workers
  • Military service members, specifically those in the U.S. Navy
  • Construction workers
  • Demolition workers
  • Millwrights
  • Insulators
  • HVAC technicians
  • Power plant workers
  • Oil refinery workers

Additionally, people who smoke and who were exposed to/are exposed to asbestos are more at risk of developing mesothelioma. Other risk factors include exposure to radiation and genetics.

Who Is Liable?

For decades, asbestos’ natural strength and fire-resistant properties made it a go-to material for construction, insulation, and consumer goods up until the 1970s. Despite data proving a link between asbestos exposure and occupational illness, asbestos manufacturers continued to create numerous products containing the harmful material throughout this time, all without warning the public.

Call Now For A Free Consultation

At Hovde Dassow + Deets, we believe that asbestos manufacturers and other corporate entities should be held legally accountable for their failure to prioritize consumer safety over profits and personal gain. Our Indianapolis mesothelioma attorneys aggressively pursue litigation against these parties on behalf of affected individuals and families. We have more than a century of combined experience and know how to effectively advocate for the full, fair recovery you deserve.

There are no legal fees unless we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. Call 888-229-1778 today for a free consultation.