Many people in Minnesota and beyond have recently been informed by their doctors that they have an incurable illness. Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that often occurs in people who have been exposed to asbestos. Symptoms of this disease are not typically immediately apparent.
Many Minnesota residents have been placed in harm's way in the workplace. Such situations often involve asbestos. Employers are obligated to inform their workers when they are aware of asbestos issues on the job. Further, they must provide proper training and equipment to keep their workers as safe as possible. Mesothelioma is one of several incurable illnesses that can afflict workers when employers fail in their duties.
In 1981, the first Minnesota asbestos litigation case was heard. Sadly, such cases have been on the rise since then, as many families have been devastated by mesothelioma, asbestosis and other asbestos-related health problems. These often occur due to asbestos exposure in the workplace.
You don't have to look too far to find someone remodeling a home, whether it's just down your street or on the numerous home renovation shows on TV. Especially now that spring is here, people all over Minnesota are starting to think about their own home construction projects.
Despite efforts to monitor and abate asbestos in schools, many schools still contain asbestos, potentially putting both students and teachers at risk for developing mesothelioma and other deadly diseases.
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.
In March of this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that mesothelioma rates are on the rise. Despite a prediction that mesothelioma rates would decline after 2005, mesothelioma rates continue to rise. Between 1999 and 2015, mesothelioma rates rose from 2,479 to 2,597. A total of 45,221 individuals died of mesothelioma during that time. What is causing the rise?
Many people have vermiculite insulation in their homes. It was a popular form of loose insulation used to insulate many homes throughout the United States. Used extensively in colder climates such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, it was most often used as attic insulation.
Home remodeling shows on television often show people uncovering hidden hazards when knocking out walls and digging up floors in old houses. Heating ducts wrapped in asbestos and flooring tiles made with asbestos are just two of the more common hazards one might see when watching a home renovation show. Old houses contain many surprises, but what other dangers might be hiding?
No amount of money can take away the devastation of a cancer diagnosis. However, money can help victims and their families seek treatment, cover everyday expenses and provide for the future. Money can also serve as a powerful way to hold parties responsible for the cancer accountable.