If you are sick and think you were exposed to asbestos, you might worry that have mesothelioma. This is a rare but deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs or, in some cases, other parts of the body. It is virtually exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs naturally and has convenient heat resistant properties. Because it does, it has been widely used in fields and applications where insulation is needed. However, it has been used in other applications, as well, such as gardening.
After asbestos had been in use for some time, it became clear that it was causing people to get sick. Two deadly diseases can be caused by exposure to asbestos: asbestos-lung cancer and mesothelioma. The two diseases start with similar symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarseness or wheezing
- Lingering, worsening cough
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Trouble swallowing
- Coughing up blood
- Swelling in your face or neck
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
It’s very important to understand that these symptoms, although serious, may be caused by something other than asbestos exposure.
It’s also important to know that these symptoms could show up years or decades after you were exposed.
You should talk to your doctor about your concerns, especially if you think you may have been exposed to asbestos.
Common Jobs Exposed to Asbestos
If you mined asbestos, taconite or talc, you may already know you were exposed to asbestos. Examples of other people who were often exposed to asbestos at work include:
- Engine and brake mechanics, particularly Navy mechanics
- Railroad workers
- Aircraft workers
- Construction workers
- Demolition workers
- Taconite processors
- Electrical workers
- Power plant workers
- Carpenters and joiners
- Refractory workers
- Iron workers
- Sheet metal workers
- Cement masons
- Window production workers
Additionally, family members may have been exposed when the worker brought home asbestos dust on their clothing.
Minnesotans who are experiencing the symptoms of asbestos exposure and who think they have been exposed to asbestos have a lot to process. You should get the medical care you need. You may have a legal claim against the employer or other company that exposed you to asbestos.