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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

Occupational asbestos exposure: Problem in Minnesota?

For years, Minnesota construction workers, as well as those in many other industries, have been at risk for health problems regarding asbestos. Occupational asbestos exposure and second-hand exposure have devastated the lives of many families in this state and across the country. If you've worked around asbestos or you are a family member whose loved one has come home wearing dirty work clothes from a construction site or other job, you may be one of thousands of people who have contracted mesothelioma, asbestosis or other incurable illness.

Much more is known about asbestos dangers now than was known 50 years ago. For instance, we've learned that simply doing laundry may cause second-hand asbestos exposure, which can lead to serious illness. There is no safe amount of exposure to asbestos, and the more friable (able to be crumbled or manipulated) a material containing asbestos is, the risk for injury increases.

Asbestos exposure a big risk for Minnesota baby boomers

Working during any time between 1940 and the late 1970s in Minnesota or beyond posed potentially serious health hazards to many people. Those who were working during the baby boomer era may now be have ill-health if they suffered asbestos exposure on the job. The U.S. government did not always regulate the use of asbestos as stringently as it does now.

Those who worked in shipyards, on U.S. military bases, in the automotive industry or as electricians were especially vulnerable for asbestos-related injuries. Sadly, there are many cases on record where employers were aware of asbestos dangers in the workplace but failed to inform or properly train and provide safety equipment to employees. In most cases, it was not until years later that workers were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or other diseases.

What is peritoneal mesothelioma?

The most common form of mesothelioma affects the lungs. This is because inhaling asbestos fibers is the most common form of exposure, and directly affects the lungs.

However, there are actually many kinds of mesothelioma, depending on where the cancer develops in the body. These other forms are rare, but it is still important to be aware of these other forms of the disease.

Have you or your loved one contracted asbestosis?

Thousands of people in Minnesota and beyond are ill right now but they might not know it. Asbestosis is a disease that often lies hidden in the body for years before symptoms arise. If you or your loved one was recently diagnosed with this condition or suspect that you may have been exposed to asbestos, this post is for you.

Inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers is highly dangerous to human health. In fact, there is no safe amount of exposure to asbestos. Whether you worked in a factory, mine or shipyard for years, or live in a home built before 1978, you may have ingested asbestos without realizing it. If there is known asbestos in your workplace (or was, if you are now retired) your employer is (or was) obligated to inform you and your co-workers, and also to provide proper training and safety equipment to help you stay safe.

Good news for Minnesota residents with asbestos exposure injuries

Many Minnesota households include family members who have been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. This is one of the most common and aggressive forms of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Symptoms often lie hidden in a person's body for years until, perhaps, a lingering cough, chest pain or sudden weight loss prompts the individual to seek medical attention, thereby leading to a diagnosis. 

A global consulting firm that is well-versed in asbestos issues recently announced that the market projection for malignant pleural mesothelioma support is estimated to sustain a nearly 8% increase over the next six years. This not only means that more money will be spent throughout the health care system to research the disease, but also that more treatment for patients who have the terminal illness will be available as well, which may, perhaps, lead to more favorable prognoses. At this time, there is no cure for mesothelioma or asbestosis, another illness that results from exposure to asbestos.

Family of former university professor sues re mesothelioma

In Minnesota and elsewhere, employers are typically protected against lawsuits for personal negligence filed by injured workers. Instead, injured workers may file claims for benefits under the workers' compensation program. However, the family of a former university professor who died of mesothelioma is initiating litigation against school officials, alleging that the school's negligence is a direct cause of their family member's death.

The man worked for many years as a college professor. He retired from teaching in 2002 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma 12 years later. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. 

Financial settlement can't undo asbestos exposure

Minnesota teachers may be among other school faculty across the country who are growing increasingly concerned about possible health hazards in the workplace. Many school buildings that exist today were built decades ago, which, in some cases, places teachers, students and visitors at risk for certain health problems. A teacher in another state was devoted to her students for more than 30 years before learning she had contracted a terminal illness that was likely caused by asbestos exposure at the school where she taught.

There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure. Employers are legally obligated to provide all necessary information, training and equipment to keep workers as safe as possible. It seems there is an ongoing problem in many schools across the country due to asbestos issues.

Asbestos exposure in your own home?

It is not uncommon for families to store items in the attic. From clothes to books to holiday decorations, it makes sense to squirrel away boxes of things that might only be used once or twice a year. Unfortunately, these storage areas as well as the products themselves might present numerous hidden hazards to an unsuspecting family.

Mesothelioma: Should Minnesota teachers be concerned?

In Minnesota and across the country, there are undoubtedly some jobs that are more dangerous than others. Teaching in a local elementary or high school would not typically be considered a profession that includes a high risk for personal injury. As made evident by a teacher's current health condition in another state, however, it appears mesothelioma and other asbestos exposure injuries are of great concern.

Many school buildings in this state were erected long ago. The ceiling tiles, insulation and flooring in such buildings often contain asbestos. There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure.

Workers in another state worried about asbestos exposure

In Minnesota and beyond, there is a lot of misinformation regarding asbestos. Some people mistakenly believe it is no longer used in products in the United States, which is untrue. Others understand there is a risk of asbestos exposure on their jobs or at school or home, but they are at a loss as to how to protect themselves.

A group of workers in another state have filed a complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency. They fear they may have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace due to a suspected contractor using unlicensed workers to perform abatement in a pre-construction project at the old building where they are employed. This particular building houses the local police department, and pre-construction work was done last month. 

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