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Asbestos dangers: Are you at risk?

Depending on your lifestyle, current employment status and workplace location, you may be at risk for health-related hazards related to asbestos. The trouble is that most illnesses associated with asbestos exposure develop slowly and without immediate apparent symptoms. By the time a doctor diagnoses your illness, the disease may already have reached an advanced stage. If you're aware of hazards ahead of time and your employer fulfills his or her obligations to keep you safe, you may be able to lower your risk.

Asbestos danger is usually greatest in older buildings and certain types of occupations. For instance, if you work in a shipyard, textile factory, or in the construction and renovation industry, you are at great risk for asbestos-related injury. Certain military duties, steel mill work and chemical plant jobs are also toward the top of most lists of high asbestos risk occupations. By researching asbestos-related illness and also seeking knowledge regarding support resources for those afflicted with such diseases, you can be proactive toward your own treatment if a problem arises.

Know how to recognize symptoms

Because asbestos contains microscopic particles that can enter your breathing space, you're at risk for illness any time you are exposed to asbestos. The following illnesses are most commonly associated with asbestos exposure:

  • Asbestosis: This is a chronic respiratory illness that involves scarring of lung tissues due to damage that occurs from ingesting asbestos particles. An individual's symptoms typically worsen over time as the illness progresses. Symptoms include breathing difficulty but also may present as clubbing of fingers and nails.
  • Mesothelioma: This incurable cancer develops due to microscopic asbestos particles lodged in the lungs. Symptoms usually become extremely severe as the disease progresses over time, including chest pain, chronic cough, severe lack of appetite and malaise. Treatment is typically palliative.
  • Other respiratory illnesses: Asbestos exposure can cause other illnesses as well, usually affecting the lungs and heart. Any chronic pain, trouble breathing, extreme fatigue, weight loss or lack of appetite warrants medical examination for possible asbestos illness diagnosis.

When an employer is well aware of an asbestos risk but fails to inform you, properly train you or provide you with necessary safety equipment to do your job, the court may determine the employer was negligent. This has happened many times in Georgia and other states throughout the nation. Asbestos litigation can be especially challenging due to limitation statutes and other possible complications.

Overcoming obstacles when seeking justice

There are experienced attorneys in place to assist Georgia residents as they petition the court for recovery of their losses associated with asbestos illness and employer negligence.

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