5 occupations most affected by mesothelioma
Cancer caused by exposure to asbestos – known as mesothelioma – continues to haunt workers in Mississippi and across the country. The symptoms may not show themselves for decades.
Workers in the greatest danger
You may think of asbestos as an outdated threat to workers because many companies stopped using the mineral in the 1980s, but the commercial use of asbestos remains legal under certain guidelines in the United States and the mineral can still be found at work sites.
Workers are exposed to risk when they breathe in asbestos fibers that come loose from equipment and insulation. Sick workers are entitled to workers’ compensation. Five occupations where mesothelioma is taking a toll:
- Railroad workers. Asbestos was common in equipment and locomotive parts, including boilers, engines, pipes and electrical panels.
- Large vessels were constructed with asbestos because it was fire-resistant and an effective insulator.
- Factory workers. Thousands of products once contained asbestos. Some factory machinery included asbestos, too.
- Construction workers. Laborers worked with asbestos in drywall, shingles, spackling, tiles and concrete mixes. The demolition and remodeling of homes constructed before 1970 also poses a risk.
- Underground mining of asbestos, a mineral, continued in the United States until 2002.
Symptoms of mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly cancer that commonly attacks the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles. What’s particularly frightening is that people may not develop symptoms for 40 years. The age of diagnosis typically ranges from 57-72. Some treatments are available, but the prognosis is poor for many people.
As with any disease, early diagnosis is essential. Depending on the type of mesothelioma, symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Fluid buildup
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal swelling or pain
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling or mass on a testicle
- Irregular heartbeat
- General fatigue
The legacy of mesothelioma
Mesothelioma has been a hidden danger to American workers for a couple of reasons. First, the symptoms do not show up for decades. Second, many companies secretly continued to use asbestos even after the hazards became public knowledge. As a result, if you are suffering from mesothelioma, you face numerous obstacles.
You’re fighting for your health – and perhaps your life – while also facing legal uncertainties. Can you prove your cancer is linked to a job where you worked 20, 30 or more years ago? The company is unlikely to admit any responsibility. You may be too ill to work or provide for your family. An insurance company, knowing you are desperate, will tempt you with a lowball financial offer.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Tabor Law Firm, PA, have more than 30 years of combined experience successfully handling the cases of injured and sick workers throughout Mississippi. They pride themselves on working one-on-one with clients to secure justice and fair financial compensation. Contact them today at their offices in Jackson and Ridgeland for a free consultation.