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Eagan Minnesota Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

Teacher believes asbestos exposure caused her cancer

When a Minnesota teacher or employee in another industry reports to work each day, he or she has a right to reasonably assume that employers are doing what they are supposed to do to maintain a safe working environment. Workers may certainly expect that, if there is a known hazard in the workplace, employers would inform them, as well as take precautions by offering proper training and safety equipment to help employees avoid injury. A school teacher in another state has begun the process of filing a lawsuit against her school district because she believes she suffered long-term asbestos exposure on the job and that it has caused her to contract mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that typically affects the lungs and abdomen. A doctor who spoke about the school teacher's condition said this particular terminal disease is almost always caused by long-term exposure to asbestos. The woman has taught in the same school district for 30 years. She said she had no idea that there was a dangerous, microscopic substance in the wrapping around the steam pipes in her classroom.

Mesothelioma: A nagging cough is often the first symptom

Many Minnesotans once worked in factories, shipyards, on a railroad or in other work environments with a high risk of asbestos exposure. Typically, they were unaware that of the dangers they faced. Others did not receive the proper training or safety equipment available to keep them safe on the job. This is why, years later, many of them suffer from mesothelioma or other health problems associated with asbestos exposure.

Having a lingering cough can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Constantly hacking can impair the quality of daily life and can also make the person suffering feel drained and weary. It is always a good idea to see a doctor when a cough is persistent, especially if you've possibly have been exposed to asbestos. An unrelenting cough is often the first apparent symptom of mesothelioma.

Parents worried about asbestos exposure in school

When a Minnesota parent sends a child to school, he or she has a right to reasonably expect that the child will be kept safe. While there is always a risk for personal injury, such as falling on the school playground and scraping a knee or twisting an ankle while running in gym class, most days at school should be rather uneventful regarding possible injuries. It is understandable that parents in another state are concerned and upset after learning their children were at risk for asbestos exposure.

Most parents would not expect that their children might be exposed to dangerous, microscopic fibers in the air at an elementary school. After all, schools are supposed to be inspected from time to time to make sure no toxins or hazards are present, especially when classes are in session. It is no wonder parents are worried about their children's health after learning that pipe insulation inside the school in question was found to contain asbestos.

Why do Navy vets face such a high risk of mesothelioma?

More than 360,000 veterans live in Minnesota today. And these brave individuals should not have to worry about their health after they leave active duty. Yet, many veterans deal with permanent injuries, disabilities or illnesses.

Some of those injuries or illnesses might not appear until long after their service. One of the most famous examples of this is Agent Orange causing cancer in Vietnam War veterans long after they returned home.

Asbestos exposure: Is your hygiene routine placing you at risk?

Many Minnesota residents and others include talcum powder in their personal daily hygiene routines. Johnson & Johnson baby powder is a popular talcum product that often can be found in the average household's bathroom cabinet. In fact, many parents of infants use talcum powder to help relieve diaper rash and keep their babies' skin as dry as possible. The problem is that ample evidence suggests talcum powder places those who use it at great risk for asbestos exposure.

Proving that a toxic or hazardous substance caused a particular person's cancer is a difficult thing to do. When someone files a personal injury claim regarding asbestos, he or she can ask credible physicians or scientists to testify in court. A researcher who has published findings stating that asbestos exposure from talcum powder appears to cause certain cancers, for instance, may provide powerful testimony that influences the court's decisions.

Mesothelioma: Symptoms might stay hidden for years

It is possible to have a terminal illness and not know it. Many Minnesota residents will be among others throughout the country who receive a diagnosis this year, informing them that they have an incurable disease. Mesothelioma is one such disease, and it often afflicts people who have worked in coal mines, factories, shipyards or old school buildings.

The symptoms of mesothelioma are typically not immediately apparent. In fact, the disease is usually slowly developing inside a person's body for years before he or she even feels ill. One of the most common first symptoms of the disease is a lingering cough.

Asbestos exposure risk high when materials are friable

In Minnesota and most other states, danger lurks in many factories, schools, shipyards, old buildings and even private homes. The danger is caused by asbestos. Asbestos exposure is highly likely when materials containing the microscopic fibers become friable.

If an asbestos containing material can be crumbled or pulverized, it is a serious danger. The ability to be reduced to powder form under hand pressure is known as friability. The more friable a material is, the greater the risk that anyone exposed to the area might contract an asbestos-related disease.

Exposure to asbestos: Three critical things to know

Although the Minnesota state and federal governments have tried to regulate and eliminate the use of asbestos, it is still a threat to individuals both young and old. And knowing about those risks is the first step to determining how to protect yourself or take action if you or a loved one suffered from exposure to asbestos.

So, here are three essential things that everyone should know about asbestos exposure, regardless of their age:

Asbestos exposure cleanup to be very expensive

In 2006, a man purchased a building that had contained a former power plant. His sons and others were working under his direction when they were reportedly told to remove pipes and other items from the building. They may not have realized it at the time, but doing so may have placed them at great risk for asbestos exposure because the pipes and other areas in the building contained high levels of the toxic materials. Those who work in Minnesota in buildings that are high-risk asbestos sites may wish to follow this case.

To make matters worse, a lot of the piping and other building materials were apparently sold as scrap metal, which means anyone who purchased it or came in contact with it may also have been exposed to asbestos. Since there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, it is logical to assume that even a single incident can have negative health consequences. In 2013, Environmental Protection Agency representatives visited the former power plant.

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