Uncovering the link between asbestos and mesothelioma
Published Thursday, April 1, 2021 12:01AM PDT
Most people have heard of mesothelioma, but don’t know what it is. They’re lucky; it probably means that they haven’t been affected.
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that creates a thin layer of tissue in your organs, generally in your lungs. While there are some treatments, it’s typically fatal. And there’s only one known cause: exposure to asbestos.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made of soft and flexible fibers that are resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. They also make cloth, paper, cement, plastic and other materials stronger. For these reasons, asbestos became an ingredient in numerous products, such as insulation, tiles, furnaces, vinyl, textiles, cement, adhesives, and fireproofing materials.
What only became publicly known later, however, was that asbestos could cause mesothelioma, along with other diseases.
While asbestos use has been heavily restricted for decades, its impact is still widely felt. Most people who are diagnosed are over 65 and worked with materials containing asbestos over months or years. However, people in their 30s and 40s can also get it due to exposure during childhood when a parent brought traces of the mineral home on their clothing.
Today, the most common reason for asbestos exposure is demolition of old building materials during a home renovation. We spoke with Miskin Law, a Canadian law firm specializing in mesothelioma claims, to get tips on how to avoid asbestos exposure.
Be careful when renovating an old home
If your home was made before the 1980s, there’s a chance asbestos was used in some of the building materials in your home. That doesn’t mean your house is inherently dangerous. In fact, if the materials with asbestos go untouched, there is much less risk.
However, let’s say your attic has insulation containing asbestos, if you decide to clear it out yourself to upgrade the insulation, you’re unknowingly spreading those asbestos fibres into the air. Or if you have someone come to do some work on your house, they may tear out old drywall or I insulation that contains asbestos.
It’s easy to get excited about tackling a DIY project - but you should always understand exactly what you’re taking on.
Be forewarned: asbestos was used in a lot of products.
Everything from drywall, floor and ceiling tiles to wiring, insulation, and even cement was commonly made with asbestos. If any of the materials in your home contain these products, put your project on hold, and move onto the next tip.
Call the experts
If you think you have uncovered asbestos, put down the hammer, drill, or saw, and find a local company or professional that specializes in removing asbestos or have a company come to test the material for traces of asbestos. They’ll safely clean out those materials so you can start any updates or renovations with a clean slate. The issue is that having an asbestos abatement can be very expensive, and many people do not pay for a hazmat team to take out the asbestos materials, but this can be life threatening.
If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or know somebody who has been diagnosed, it’s important to know you aren’t alone. Miskin Law is here to help you get justice for your suffering. Most of the clients that Miskin Law represents worked with asbestos from the 1950s-1980s. Some worked in large industrial plants that used asbestos, and other were general contractors working on residential homes. Some of their clients have no idea where they were exposed and never worked with asbestos. Recently there has been a link to asbestos and baby powder. Where Talc is mined there is often traces of asbestos, many talc products once contained asbestos.
Companies who manufactured asbestos products have set up trust funds for people with asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. After being diagnosed, people have the option of filing a claim with Workers Compensation, if they were exposed to asbestos at work or hiring a lawyer to file claims against those trust funds - but they can’t do both.
Miskin Law will file claims to those companies for you, and most of their cases are settled within a year. Over the past 15 years, they’ve obtained over $60 million in settlements and verdicts for their clients’ diagnoses.
In the event that you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Miskin Law to understand your options. They will research and verify where you were exposed to asbestos, and they’ll work to get the maximum compensation for your diagnosis – there are no upfront fees and they only get paid if you win your case. They will also give you free advice.