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What Causes Mesothelioma?

If a doctor recently gave you or a loved one a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you most likely have many questions. Can this be treated? If so, what does treatment involve? What is the long-term prognosis for someone with the condition? And finally, what causes this disease?

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, tiny particles that workers breathe in unknowingly. When a person works near asbestos, they risk inhaling the particles that can damage the protective layers of the lungs and spread to more organs. The long-term scarring then begins growing malignant cancer cells.

Here are a few examples of the types of workers linked to mesothelioma cases in the past:

  • Asbestos miners and manufacturers
  • Construction workers
  • Building maintenance staff
  • Mill employees
  • Mechanics

Deaths from the disease have increased for those 85 and older, a group who likely worked closely with asbestos before much was known about the danger involved. However, it's troubling to know that even with the regulations passed during the past few decades, people are still dying from the disease. According to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, deaths of people that are less than 55 years old mean it is likely that dangerous levels of asbestos still exist.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can take years - and even several decades - to develop. People might experience chest pains, a persistent cough and blood clotting problems. Family members of those working near asbestos also may have been exposed if they breathed in particles from work clothes.

A mesothelioma diagnosis for you or a relative is difficult news to hear. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help you investigate your legal options.

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