Mesothelioma in Tucson, AZ

Still a problem today

A common mistake people make about asbestos is thinking that it is problem of the past because asbestos is no longer used in construction projects. Unfortunately, asbestos-related disease remains a concern. Asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, may not appear until 30 years or more after exposure.

Mesothelioma is a serious, deadly, but preventable cancer, and it is directly related to asbestos exposure. That exposure may have taken place decades ago. Mesothelioma usually has a very poor prognosis, which means that it cannot be cured and will most likely lead to death.

Arizona has a long history of asbestos mining, where it was an industry from 1872 to 1982. Arizona currently ranks 21st in the nation for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related deaths. Many of the naturally occurring asbestos deposits in Arizona were on Indian reservations, and on-the-job asbestos exposure related to mining has created most of the asbestos-related health issues statewide. Counties with major asbestos operations included Gila, Coconino, La Paz, Cochise, Yuma, and Pinal.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It came into widespread use as a building material in the World War II years. Before we knew how dangerous it was, asbestos was used for its many desirable properties: It is strong, heat-resistant, and was thought to work well as an insulator and fire-retardant.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that asbestos can be found in many places. In building materials, asbestos may be in roof shingles. It can also be in the ceiling or floor tiles. There are many cement products that may contain asbestos. You may also find asbestos in automotive products, such as the clutch, the brakes, or the transmissions of cars and trucks. When looking for asbestos, think about anything that may need to resist heat or fire; asbestos may be in those materials, especially if the building or product was manufactured between World War II and the 1970s.

Use of asbestos in new construction and materials was in effect until the 1970s. People can generally expect that asbestos exposure might happen anywhere that buildings are decaying, undergoing demolition, or being renovated. Precautions must be taken in these cases to reduce exposure to asbestos.

How does asbestos harm workers?

Asbestos becomes a serious problem for people when the materials that contain it begin to break down. The destruction or decay of buildings lets the asbestos particles escape into the air. According to the Centers for Disease Control, when the materials are handled —as in during demolition or renovation—the asbestos within the building materials can separate into tiny particles that remain airborne and can be easily inhaled. It is this inhalation and asbestos exposure that is linked to asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These are mainly work-site related respiratory diseases.

What is mesothelioma?

While mesothelioma is clearly linked to asbestos, it is not a common form of cancer. It affects the pleura, the thin lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart. Mesothelioma sufferers generally exhibit:

  • shortness of breath
  • trouble breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • pain beneath the ribs
  • pain, swelling, or lumps in abdomen

According to the EPA, doctors can identify asbestos-related diseases by carefully investigating the medical history of the patient. This medical history will include the work history, cultural history, and environmental history of the patient, such as any time spent in mining, construction, or around automotive parts. If you suspect mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, ask your doctor to perform a physical examination, a chest X-ray, and a lung function test.

What regulations exist?

Once asbestos was linked to mesothelioma, regulations regarding its control went into effect. The EPA regulates the rules for schools, building owners and managers. All schools are required to inspect for asbestos-containing materials, and building owners and managers must follow EPA regulations for renovation and demolition.

We can be glad that the use of asbestos products in the construction and automotive industries has significantly decreased in recent years. As of 1982, mining of asbestos has ceased in Arizona. However, asbestos can still be found in many residential and commercial settings.

If you or a loved one is suffering because of exposure to asbestos, call Goldberg & Osborne now at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245,) or SUBMIT A SHORT AND SIMPLE CASE FORM HERE. You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries or losses.

Let Us Help You Seek Justice

Email us information about your potential claim, or give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245) for a free, no obligation consultation.
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