Mesothelioma is cancer affecting the thin membranes that protect several of the most important organs of the body; this includes:
- Abdomen areas
Every year, there are about 3000 new cases of mesothelioma in the United States due to exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral that is naturally found in the environment and currently, asbestos exposure is the only known cause for developing mesothelioma. In mining for asbestos, this dust can collect in the lungs or the stomach. But then it might be 20 to 40 years for mesothelioma to develop.
For many years, asbestos was used in several industries, such as:
It was used in a variety of materials used in these industries. Even after asbestos was proven to cause mesothelioma, some companies continued to use asbestos and these companies have had to form Superfunds for employees that developed this form of cancer. Since it can take decades from the time of exposure to asbestos to mesothelioma developing, there is still people every day who are developing and dying from this long time ago exposure to asbestos.
In West Virginia mesothelioma has become common for a significant number of people. If you live in West Virginia it is possible that you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace or even at home. West Virginia does not have any natural asbestos, but this has not prevented many people from exposure. There have been many businesses in the state that used asbestos in many roles, exposing workers on the job.
Coal mining is an important aspect of West Virginia’s economy for years and still employs around 12,000 workers. Miners in the past may have faced coal with asbestos contamination. Also, there was equipment used in mining found containing asbestos such as welding blankets or transit panels. So, as a coal miner in West Virginia, you may have been exposed.
Although oil was not a large boost to the economy still oil refineries opened in several cities in West Virginia. Due to the reactivity and heat that is high and used in the processing of oil, asbestos became important as a solution in protecting plants from risk of fire as well as protecting expensive equipment. Employees were exposed to asbestos in these plants for many years.
West Virginia has had some sites added to the “Environmental Protection Agency’s” Superfund listing over years. Two sites have concerns with asbestos contamination among other issues from the environment. You may have worked for one of the companies involved with these Superfunds.
People who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma have the right to file lawsuits against those who were responsible for exposing them to asbestos. So, it is important if you get this diagnosis that you contact legal representation to provide you with answers about what you can do. There is money that can help you with the expenses with your disease as well as in many cases help your families because of your inability to earn a living. There are many excellent law firms in West Virginia that handle only mesothelioma cases.