Schmitt Law Firm, LLC - Kansas City personal injury attorneys

Understanding asbestos exposure

Asbestos is the general term for a group of natural minerals previously used in a wide variety of industries due to their high level of resistance to fire, heat and corrosive chemicals. Today, it is common knowledge that asbestos exposure may cause several types of lung cancers and illnesses.

The type of asbestos generally used industrially consists of very fine, long, flexible fibers. These fibers are very easy to inhale, and they stay in the lungs and often precipitate a malignant process. Pleural mesothelioma, a typically fatal cancer beginning in the lining of the lungs, numbers among the most dangerous and well-known results of asbestos exposure.

Exposure risks

Most people who encounter asbestos do so at the workplace. While asbestos-heavy industries such as construction, mining and manufacturing generally phased out its use by the 1980s, workers may still encounter this dangerous material. For example, construction workers demolishing an older structure may suffer exposure. Although federal and state agencies set forth procedures to minimize risk, workers may still risk exposure due to accidents, failure to follow the rules or a company's unawareness of the presence of asbestos.

Less common asbestos exposure may occur if workers come home with fibers clinging to their clothing or shoes. Other members of the household are likely to inhale the fibers.

People living in areas of previous manufacturing or mining operations may suffer exposure due to the presence of asbestos fibers in the air. Exposure may also occur in older buildings where the owners have not taken proper abatement precautions.

Symptoms take a long time to manifest

Because asbestos fibers have no smell or taste, and are too small to identify visually, many people may not realize they have been exposed, especially if they do not know of any exposure risks. Health problems generally begin arising between 10 and 50 years after exposure. Many industrial workers who suffered exposure before widespread restrictions may only begin having symptoms now. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms related to asbestos exposure, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Speaking with an experienced attorney can also help you determine if you may be entitled to legal compensation.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.