FAQs: Pleural Mesothelioma Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawyers

Q: What is Mesothelioma?

A: Mesothelioma is a disease in which cells in the lining (pleura) of the chest or abdominal cavities are triggered to grow abnormally and divide without control or order. There are three different types of Mesothelioma affecting different areas and organs in the body. These cells in the pleural lining can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Once these cells are cancerous, they then act as most cancer cells can do and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. It has been determined that working with asbestos is the main cause of malignant Mesothelioma. Previous exposure to asbestos at work is reported in over 70 to 80 percent of all cases and this number is generally expected to increase.

Q: Is Pleural Mesothelioma curable?

A: Currently, there is no cure for Pleural Mesothelioma, although the symptoms can be treated to aid in the comfort of the patient.

Q: What are the symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma?

A: The symptoms are similar to other lung diseases and would include: persistent coughing, rasping, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, facial swelling, weight loss, fever, and coughing up blood.

Q: Are there medical tests that will show if I have been exposed to asbestos?

A: Mesothelioma is usually not detectable until approximately 20 years after exposure. Chest x-rays do not have the capability to show asbestos fibers, but are capable of detecting early signs of certain lung diseases. Lung function tests and high resolution CT scans can detect changes in the lungs and breathing capacity that were caused by asbestos.

Q: Is there a way I can identify materials that contain asbestos?

A: There is not a way to tell if a material contains asbestos just by looking at it. The law now requires that if a material contains asbestos, it should be properly labeled. If you are suspicious of the material containing asbestos, it is best to treat it as if it does contain asbestos. You can also have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional. A professional will need to take samples for analysis, because there is an increased health risk if fibers are released from damaging the original material. They can also perform these tests before you want to do remodeling in your home.

Q: Is it true that OSHA standards require employers to provide education and training to their employees that have been exposed to asbestos?

A: Yes. First, OSHA requires employers to place warning labels on all asbestos containing products in the workplace. Permissible asbestos exposure limit, (also know as PEL), determines the requirements. For example, the construction and shipyard industry employers must only provide education and training for employees exposed above a PEL, and for all their employees involved in certain work classification positions. In all other industries, the employers must provide training to all employees exposed above PEL's. OSHA also requires employers to provide asbestos awareness training to employees who perform certain housekeeping operations that are at risk of exposure.

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