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Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that often develops as a result of exposure to asbestos fibers. In combating this disease, the financial costs are often significant. This can create, along with the battle with the disease itself, a great deal of emotional distress for victims and their families.

Development of Mesothelioma

Individuals exposed to microscopic asbestos fibers may be at risk of developing mesothelioma. The risk of exposure was highest during the period between the 1940s and 1980s. However, it is still very possible to encounter asbestos today. There are three major types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial. Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lung’s protective lining, is the most common form, accounting for about three-quarters of all mesothelioma cases.

Mesothelioma Treatment Costs

It has been estimated that the total cost of mesothelioma treatment can range between $150,000 to over $1 million. The cost varies for different individuals, depending on factors such as the age of the victim, the stage of the mesothelioma, and the overall health status of the victim. Costs for mesothelioma include, but are not limited to, the following:

W.R. Grace and Libby mine located in Libby, Montana contained a deposits of asbestos that continues to receive attention from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today. While the cleanup effort in Libby has been extensive, the dangers of the mine are present throughout the nation. This is because the vermiculite containing asbestos mined from Libby was used extensively in insulation materials shipped to all parts of the country.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that, when exposed to extremely high temperatures, expands from 8 to 30 times its original size. The result is a lightweight, fire-resistant, and odorless product that was found very well suited for use in insulation placed in walls and attics. The source of the majority of asbestos sold in the United States from 1919 to 1990 was from the Libby mine. The asbestos that was used in insulation by W.R. Grace was sold under the brand name Zonolite. The Zonolite products included Zonolite Super 40, Zonolite Mono-Kote and Zonolite plaster.

In 1963, W.R. Grace took over operations of the mine. At that time, W.R. Grace was aware of the asbestos and that it caused health issues, but did not disclose this to workers or townspeople, and mining continued.

Carpenters Exposed to Asbestos

For much of the twentieth century, carpenters played an integral part in the development of the United States. These individuals helped construct many of the homes and buildings that still stand and are used today. Unfortunately, during much of this period, carpenters were exposed to dangerous microscopic asbestos fibers. This exposure can lead to the development of mesothelioma or other serious asbestos-related diseases.

Carpenters and Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos was used in all kinds of construction materials up until the 1980s. Unfortunately, carpentry work was extremely prevalent during the period from the 1940s into the 1980s. As part of the “Baby Boom” following World War II, carpenters were very busy constructing homes and buildings across the country. Before metal studs existed for use in the framing of buildings, carpenters were responsible for this process. As a result, carpenters were exposed to large amounts of asbestos fibers.

Though these carpenters were most widely associated with working with wood, they were also working with and around all kinds of other construction materials that contained asbestos. This includes materials such as:

The risk of exposure to asbestos fibers is often associated with individuals who worked with or around products that contained asbestos. However, people who come in contact with workers who are exposed to asbestos fibers are also at risk of the dangers of asbestos. These dangers include the development of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos was used in many products up until the 1980’s, when the dangers of it were universally recognized. Asbestos becomes dangerous when it is disturbed and releases microscopic fibers into the air. Once these fibers are released into the air, they can be breathed in and may remain in the lungs. The effects of asbestos fiber exposure may not become apparent for many years or even decades.

How Second-hand Asbestos Exposure Occurs

Second-hand asbestos exposure involves exposure to the asbestos fibers without actually working with the material that contains asbestos. The victims of second-hand exposure are often family members of individuals returning home from work after encountering asbestos as a result of their employment. These workers are unaware that they may be carrying fibers that could be dangerous to their families.

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