Mesothelioma is a deadly type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity or abdomen, and the most common cause of the disease is exposure to asbestos dust or fibers at work or in the home. Asbestos is a group of minerals with thin microscopic fibers, and because the fibers are resistant to fire, heat and chemicals, asbestos was used widely in the past in the automotive, construction and other industries. However, we now know that when products containing asbestos are disturbed, the microscopic fibers are released into the air, and when they are breathed in, can become trapped in the lungs and remain there for many years. This may lead to the development of malignant mesothelioma, which has a latency period of 30 to 50 years and is almost always fatal. If you have suffered from this deadly cancer and you believe asbestos exposure to be the cause, contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
October 1960 – A study published in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine highlights more than 30 cases of mine workers and other individuals in South Africa who suffered from mesothelioma, establishing mesothelioma as a disease arising from asbestos exposure.
December 1962 – The Medical Journal of Australia reports the first diagnosed case of malignant mesothelioma in an Australian asbestos worker, who worked in the mill at an asbestos mine from 1948 to 1950.
1965 – Research published in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine reports that people who lived in neighborhoods with asbestos factories and mines had contracted mesothelioma, even though they didn’t work in the factories or mines.
1974 – Australia’s Bulletin magazine publishes a cover story about the dangers of exposure to blue asbestos titled “Is this Killer in Your Home?”
March 2009 – A study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine finds that workers in the textile industry exposed to crysotile asbestos on the job have a higher risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis cancer of the pleura.
June 2009 – Researchers from Duke University find that sheet metal workers may face a greater risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases.
September 2011 – The medical journal Lung Cancer publishes a study conducted by researchers from the Netherlands, who report that they may have developed a device that can detect and diagnose mesothelioma via a breath test.
January 2014 – The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine publishes research indicating that even people exposed to very low levels of asbestos may be at risk for mesothelioma.
March 2014 – A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology reports that there may be a genetic component to the risk of developing mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos.
June 2014 – The medical journal Annals of Thoracic Surgery finds that survival rates for women with some forms of malignant pleural mesothelioma may be longer than men with the same type of cancer.
July 2014 – In a study published in the medical journal Oncotarget, researchers from the University of Torino in Italy report that a certain enzyme may enhance the aggressiveness of malignant pleural mesothelioma, and could be a predictor of worse outcomes in people diagnosed with the deadly cancer.
September 2014 – The British Journal of Cancer publishes research indicating that long-term survival among people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma may not have much to do with specific treatment methods.
May 2015 – Research published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery suggests that early-stage mesothelioma patients may actually experience decreased lung function and a lower quality of life if they undergo surgery to remove the cancerous tissue from their lungs.
September 2015 – Combining standard chemotherapy with a manipulation of certain proteins may improve the survival time for some people diagnosed with mesothelioma, according to a study published in the journal Annals of Oncology.
The first lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers were filed in 1929, and since then, a growing number of claims have been brought against employers and the makers of asbestos products, for allegedly neglecting to take the appropriate safety measures to protect workers against asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cancer, even after the link between asbestos and mesothelioma became known. In fact, more than 600,000 individuals diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and other illnesses after prolonged exposure to asbestos in the workplace have brought asbestos-related claims during the past few decades alone. Lawsuits filed over mesothelioma, asbestosis and other asbestos-related illnesses allege that employers and manufacturing companies who made asbestos-containing products in the past:
Exposure to asbestos on the job has been recognized as an occupational health hazard since the early 20th century, and about 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year in the United States, many of whom were initially exposed to asbestos decades prior. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “permissible exposure limits” established in the United States may prevent most asbestos-related non-malignant diseases, but they are not adequate enough to protect individuals from developing asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma. If you have developed malignant mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers who were injured or died because of a defective product, and can help put you in touch with an experienced lawyer who can help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve.