Asbestos is an umbrella term for a group of six minerals that have been widely used in industry for the past 100 years. These minerals are flexible and strong. They are an electrical insulator and have been known since antiquity for their heat-resistant properties. For decades, asbestos was a wonder-product, showing up in everything from paints and car brakes to furniture and caulk. Eventually, people began to notice that asbestos miners and asbestos workers were getting sick. Even people who lived near the mines and family members of factory workers were becoming ill. Asbestos was found to cause a variety of lung cancers including mesothelioma. Asbestos and asbestos containing products also cause asbestosis, a potentially deadly lung condition. There are over 10,000 asbestos-related deaths in the United States each year.
The New Jersey and New York mesothelioma lawyers at the law firm of Davis, Saperstein, & Salomon, P.C. have decades of experience helping victims of asbestos poisoning and families who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma. Our lawyers treat victims and their families with the respect and sensitivity they deserve. We work hard to make sure your voice is heard by the legal system. The attorneys at our firm take most mesothelioma cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that our clients only pay us if their claim is successful or a settlement is reached. Call us today at 1-800-LAW-2000 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with an experienced New Jersey mesothelioma attorney.
Asbestos is actually a term for six minerals made up of long, thin, fibrous crystals. Asbestos is typically divided into two classes. The chrysotile class, also known as the serpentine class, makes up over 90% of asbestos used in US buildings. It is commonly called white asbestos and has a spiral shape.
The amphibole class of asbestos contains the other five asbestos minerals: crocidolite (blue asbestos); amosite (brown asbestos); tremolite; actinolite; and anthophyllite. These minerals are also known as straight asbestos and are more strongly linked to mesothelioma than the serpentine class.
Asbestos has been used in almost every industry as an insulator and added to many products to make them stronger. This list of asbestos-containing products only covers a small fraction of its many uses:
|Brakes||Wire Insulation||Cement Boards||Pipes|
While asbestos has been heavily regulated and is no longer mined in the US, it is still found in many products available for sale here.
Asbestos crystals are very small and are easily carried in the air as a dust. This means that they end up in the throats, bronchi, and bronchioles of people who are exposed to them. Often, the crystals find their way into the lung and become embedded in lung tissue or the mesothelium, a lining that surrounds the lungs and other bodily organs. The crystals cause the lungs to become scarred. Doctors aren’t sure why this happens, but they know that asbestos is responsible. This scarring leads to asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Since the 1930s, asbestos companies have known of the dangers involved in handling asbestos. Unfortunately, they hid this information for decades, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. New uses of asbestos have been banned by the EPA since 1989. This did not stop manufacturers from continuing to use asbestos for existing products.
Any exposure to asbestos creates some risk of lung problems. Longer and larger exposures are correlated with increased risk, but there is no safe amount of exposure. If you suspect there is asbestos in your home, you should not make any attempt to move or test it yourself. Only trained professionals should deal with asbestos. In many cases, it is safer to leave asbestos in place or cover it than to try to remove it. Asbestos dust is much more dangerous than solid asbestos; removing asbestos tile or insulation causes asbestos dust to be released into the air. New Jersey law requires anyone handling asbestos to have training and a certification. Disposal is also heavily regulated. Removal may be required during remodeling.
Mesothelioma is a very rare form of lung cancer. It affects the tissue surrounding the lungs. While there are rare cases of it occurring without exposure to asbestos, almost every known case has occurred in someone who has been exposed to asbestos at work, at home, or at school. The link has been proven repeatedly in courts. For this reason, there are many trusts set up which allow victims to recover. In fact, there is over $36 billion sitting in accounts, funded by companies that used asbestos, and waiting for victims to make claims. There are currently over 8,000 companies in the US defending asbestos claims against over 700,000 claimants. These numbers are expected to increase over time because mesothelioma and asbestosis can take 30-50 years to develop after exposure. There are many people who were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s-1980s who will get sick in the future.
Asbestos also causes lung problems such as pleural plaque (a hardening of the lungs), pleural thickening, and pleural effusion (a buildup of liquid in the cavity surrounding the lungs). These conditions can make breathing difficult. Asbestosis is caused by scarring. This disease makes it hard to breathe and is sometimes fatal.
Many lung conditions have similar symptoms. For this reason, mesothelioma and asbestosis can be hard to diagnose. Your doctor may need to do a biopsy, a bronchoscopy, or a CT scan to determine what is causing your symptoms. If you are having trouble breathing, loss of appetite, or changes in your voice, it is important to see a doctor immediately. These diseases are hard to treat, but treating them early is much more effective.
Manufacturers, employers, and insurance companies have been defending mesothelioma and lung cancer cases for decades. It is important that you find a lawyer with the experience and dedication to stand up to these companies and get you justice. The New Jersey and New York mesothelioma lawyers at the firm of Davis, Saperstein, & Salomon, P.C. have the experience to help you get justice. Our lawyers have helped countless victims in New Jersey and New York. Whether you have suffered an injury from asbestos or any other work-related hazard, we are here to help. We offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations to asbestos victims and their families. If you can’t come to one of our New Jersey or New York locations, we can visit you at home or in the hospital. Our lawyers believe that communication is important, so we have attorneys that speak English and Spanish as well as interpreters to help us in cases where victims or their families speak Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, German, French, Hebrew, Tagalog, Italian, Slovakian, Japanese, Dutch or Ukrainian.
Our firm handles most asbestos exposure cases on a contingency fee basis. This means there is no fee if there is no recovery. Call the law firm of Davis, Saperstein, & Salomon, P.C. today at 1-800-LAW-2000 to arrange your no-risk, free consultation. You will have the opportunity to speak with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer for free and without committing to anything.