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Health Insurance and Mesothelioma

For victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, the costs of diagnosis and treatment are significant. These costs are quite often high enough to make it difficult, if not impossible, to afford without the assistance of health insurance. But, individuals should be aware of limitations that insurance has when it comes to these serious diseases.

Covering the Cost

Asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma and other cancers, can result in significant cost to victims. Typical surgeries associated with cancer treatment cost around $40,000 (and that does not include the most aggressive or complicated surgeries). An eight-week chemotherapy cycle costs around $30,000. Monthly radiation costs around $2,000.

While most insurance plans provide coverage for diagnostic testing and treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, it is dependent on each particular plan. Even when these things are covered, it is typically only after high deductibles are met and will have high copayments.

Power plants are massive facilities that generate and distribute energy across the nation to businesses, residences, and other structures. The development of these plants helped spur the growth of America during the twentieth century. But, along the way, they caused workers to be exposed to dangerous asbestos fibers, which can lead to serious health complications, like mesothelioma and other cancers.

Asbestos and Power Plants

Power plants generate and harness useable power and, in the process, generate tremendous amounts of heat. As a result, the risk of potential fire is a major concern. Historically, asbestos was used to help mitigate this risk. Asbestos is a poor conductor of electricity and is resistant to heat and fire. Because of this, asbestos was widely used in insulation materials, which went into walls, wires, pipes, generators, and other machinery. Asbestos was effective at helping to prevent fire and overheating.

The use of asbestos was especially high in plants that produced electricity and in power distribution centers. During the standard operation of these facilities, asbestos fibers were often released into the air. Other places related to power plants in which asbestos was used included transformer stations, lignite mining plants, and off-site workshops.

Insulation is used to help in controlling and maintaining the temperature inside of buildings and homes. Unfortunately, for much of the twentieth century, insulation contained asbestos. The dangers of exposure to asbestos include the development of mesothelioma and other cancers. Individuals who are employed as insulators are at increased risk of exposure to asbestos fibers, particularly if this work occurred before the 1980s.

Asbestos Insulation

Asbestos insulation was the largest source of exposure for workers throughout the 1900s. It was used in homes, buildings, ships, cars, and manufacturing facilities. Insulation is beneficial because it conserves energy, reduces electrical conductivity, and retains hot and cold temperatures. Before the 1980s, asbestos was extensively used in insulation materials due to its resistance to fire and heat, as well as it being a poor conductor of electricity.

Insulation was and continues to be used in attics, walls, ceilings, flooring, siding, pipe wrapping, and inside of boilers. Today, fiberglass is used instead of asbestos. However, many materials containing asbestos remain in buildings. As a result, individuals performing work on buildings or homes should be cautious about the possibility of asbestos exposure.

Risk of Asbestos Exposure for Plumbers and Pipefitters

Plumbers and pipefitters, particularly those who worked between the 1940s and 1980s, are at increased risk of exposure to asbestos due to the specific materials that they dealt with as a result of their occupation. This exposure puts these individuals at risk of developing mesothelioma and other serious asbestos-related diseases. While the use of asbestos was discontinued decades ago, new cases of asbestos-related disease continue to be diagnosed today.

Plumbers and Pipefitters

Pipefitters are responsible for the design, installation, and repair of pipe systems in large commercial buildings or manufacturing facilities. For smaller projects like residential homes, similar work is performed by what is known as a plumber, as opposed to a pipefitter. However, for both pipefitters and plumbers, these pipe systems transport water, steam, air, gas, and human waste. Pipefitters and plumbers require specialized knowledge due to the high pressure that the pipes are placed under.

For much of the twentieth century, asbestos was the preferred material to be used with pipe systems due to its high heat and fire resistance. Asbestos was commonly used as thermal insulation for pipes, boilers, ducts, and tanks. Pipefitters and plumbers may have also been exposed while using repair materials. These materials included joint compounds, cement, valves, gaskets, pipe coating, and welding rods.

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