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.
Sitting in a chair in front of a doctor's desk and hearing him or her tell you that you have a terminal lung disease is a devastating and life-changing experience. Perhaps, you could not name your illness as asbestosis, but you knew something was not right because you haven't been feeling well for a long time. Like many others in Minnesota with similar illnesses, it may have been a lingering cough or chest pain that ultimately prompted you to seek a medical diagnosis of your condition.
Can you recall when you first began to notice that something wasn't right and you just didn't feel well? Perhaps, at first, you thought you were overly tired from work or maybe had contracted a minor illness. Were you prompted to schedule an appointment with a Minnesota medical doctor when you realized your symptoms were not subsiding? Asbestosis often presents like that -- slowly developing symptoms that linger and feel worse over time.
If you have worked in a Minnesota mine, mill or spray insulation industry, you are at risk for asbestos exposure. One particular illness, asbestosis, is a breathing disorder that often causes devastating life consequences and, in worst cases, even death. Those afflicted with this or other asbestos-related illnesses often need daily living assistance and legal support.
The dangers of asbestos have been known for a long time, which is why the federal Clean Air Act of 1970 was enacted. At that time, most sprayed-on forms of asbestos were banned in the United States. Sadly, many people in Minnesota and beyond were already exposed to asbestos years ago and are now experiencing adverse health conditions such as asbestosis as a result.
Many people in Minnesota suffer from chronic health conditions. Some have known of their illnesses for a long time and have been doing their best to enjoy life as much as possible. Others have symptoms that just recently became apparent, although their illnesses began years ago when they were exposed to asbestos on the job. If you or your loved one believe asbestosis is the cause of your suffering, it is crucial to build a strong support network.
There are a lot of old buildings in Minnesota, including factories, schools, churches and government structures. As in many other states, restoration and construction projects in these dwellings often include asbestos removal. It's no secret that asbestos exposure is highly dangerous and often leads to serious illness, such as asbestosis.
It's not always easy to tell when asbestos is present on the job in Minnesota. When employers are aware of it, they're obligated to inform their workers about the potential dangers of exposure and also to provide proper training according to safety regulations if workers are going to be removing asbestos from a particular structure. Things don't always go the way they should, however; in fact, many workers wind up suffering from asbestosis and other adverse health conditions after being repeatedly exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question posed above is, currently, no. There is no cure for asbestosis.
The hazards of asbestos exposure has been known for a long time and the majority of asbestos-related products have been removed from our marketplace. Despite this, mesothelioma rates have continued to rise. According to the Environmental Working Group, 4,852 people died in Minnesota between 1999 and 2013 of asbestos related deaths.