For decades, scientists and medical professionals have known there is a link between asbestos exposure and deadly cancers. Mesothelioma, in particular, is often linked with asbestos exposure. Many people end up exposed through work or by a loved one who works with asbestos. Many years or decades after exposure, people end up very sick and facing potentially staggering medical bills for care that may extend, but not truly save, their lives.
As the government considers potentially increasing the domestic use of asbestos, there should also be a conversation about workers' rights and the potential risk. After all, mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that currently does not have a known cure. Workers who end up developing mesothelioma will very likely end up debilitatingly sick before eventually dying.
Understanding the connection between mesothelioma and asbestos
Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos develops mesothelioma. After all, whole generations of manufacturing workers, mechanics and construction workers have had high levels of exposure. However, there is a link between exposure and mesothelioma, even if it isn't universal.
Mesothelioma is a particularly aggressive and deadly form of cancer. It develops in the lining of organs, meaning that people often don't realize they have it until it has progressed to a later stage or metastasized to other parts of the body. Many times, people develop this cancer in the lining of the lungs after inhaling asbestos for years at work. Spouses of people who work with asbestos can also develop cancer from handling their clothing.
Those sickened by asbestos have the right to seek compensation
It can be difficult to prove causation for mesothelioma. After all, this form of cancer often takes decades to develop after exposure. Even for workers who definitely know where they had exposure, there is always the potential that the company they worked for has long since gone out of business. These workers may be able to seek restitution through special funds that help compensate those with this deadly cancer. However, that isn't always the case.
For workers who suffered work-related environmental exposure to asbestos, the potential for compensation may demand a lawsuit. If your employer is still in business, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical costs and lost wages by taking them to court. Proving the exposure and diagnosis takes work, but it can lead to financial gains that offset some of the losses you and your family will experience as a result.
In other cases, such as those exposed through consumer goods, like talc powder, there may also be civil lawsuit options for seeking compensation. In some cases, a class action lawsuit may be the best choice. Other times, bringing an action as the sole plaintiff may be the better option.
If asbestos once again becomes a popular product for commercial use, it is very likely that the number of mesothelioma cases will increase in the future, leading to more claims for benefits and lawsuits.