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Asbestos, Quebec: We Hardly Knew Ye

Canadian filmmaker Hervé Demers’ recent documentary Once The Dust Has Settled examines the life and times of Val-des-Sources, which until December 2020, was called Asbestos.

What was once the largest asbestos mine in the world is now a huge pit in the ground. Back in the day, old-timers say that when the ground shifted, children’s toys, garages, houses, and even entire streets would fall into the pit.

During the 1960s, the town was thriving and could afford to expand and invest in its infrastructure and municipal architecture. It built a new modern town hall whose main hallway was adorned with a mural by the artist Denis Juneau, as well as some ceramic pieces in the church by famed ceramist Claude Vermette.

Years later, in 2012, the Quebec Social Democrats banned asbestos mining. Currently, about 7,000 live in this southern Quebec community.

Asbestos Injuries

The mine showered the town with asbestos dust. One longtime resident said it was like snowfall in July. The people of Asbestos, like most other people in Canada and the United States, did not know this dust could cause several kinds of cancer.

Lung cancer (mesothelioma) is the most common asbestos-exposure-related injury. This form of lung cancer is an especially nasty kind of a nasty disease. As a result, an asbestos-exposure lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation in these cases.

Many kinds of lung cancer, such as NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer), are manageable. Modern chemotherapy, surgical, and radiation treatments are extremely effective. Mesothelioma is different, mostly because doctors rarely catch mesothelioma early.

Mesothelioma is very painful, mostly because it affects breathing. As the disease progresses and breathing becomes harder, most victims have trouble breathing even while at rest. As the cancer spreads, the pain spreads to other parts of the body as well.

Furthermore, mesothelioma causes severe emotional damage. Most diagnosed victims are in their 70s or 80s. These individuals are usually making plans for the final downhill run of life. Instead, a devastating medical diagnosis devastates the family, crushing all those hopes and plans. Mesothelioma’s five-year survival rate is under 10 percent.

Asbestos fibers also cause stomach (abdominal) cancer. Similar to lung cancer, a tumor forms in the membranes of the mesothelium (the protective layer that surrounds the abdomen). Also, like lung cancer, asbestos-induced stomach cancer spreads quickly.

However, unlike lung cancer, some abdominal cancer treatments are available. One experimental treatment, which involves injecting superheated chemotherapy drugs into the abdominal cavity, has shown considerable promise.

Mesothelioma fibers are also linked to throat cancer. This form of cancer inhibits three regular activities (talking, breathing, and swallowing).

Mining Injuries

Asbestos mines were dangerous, but they weren’t much more dangerous than other mining activities. Mining is usually at or near the top of those “most dangerous jobs” lists that appear from time to time.

Miners often sustain occupational disease injuries, such as mesothelioma and hearing loss. Frequently, mines are noisy enough to cause hearing loss but not loud enough to trigger mandatory OSHA safety protocols. Trauma injuries, mostly motor vehicle crashes, are common at construction sites as well. Most construction vehicles are huge vehicles with poor sight lines. Additionally, these operators often have little experience, especially if they are moving a large vehicle over a short distance.

Workers’ compensation benefits are available to all mining injury victims. These benefits usually include lost wage replacement and medical bill payment. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Victims do not have to prove negligence or fault; they must only prove that their illness or injury was work-related.

Count on a Savvy Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Mesothelioma victims need and deserve significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced nationwide mesothelioma lawyer, contact the Throneberry Law Group. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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You are the reason my mother was able to cope with losing a loved one. You and your staff are always helpful and go above and beyond to help. You have been great to my family and especially my mother. My mother would always come out of your office with a peace of mind. R.S.
We are so appreciative of the results Michael Throneberry got for us! Michael Throneberry and the attorneys we worked with were focused on our peace of mind and seemed to care for my family and me as if we were family. They truly get it. We were thrilled with the result and would recommend this firm to anyone. M.S.
During one of my family's darkest and trying times, Michael Throneberry was there to provide help. His personal experience with mesothelioma made certain that he advised us like family. Thank you, you are wonderful. Do yourself a favor and let him help you during this trying time. He is a true 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. T.S.
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