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Are You in Danger? Mesothelioma Attorneys in Orlando Share Risk Factors

Posted by copeland on September 27, 2013


Asbestos is a set of naturally occurring minerals used extensively in manufacturing, construction and ship building throughout the 20th century. It's also the primary cause of a rare but aggressive form of cancer that unfortunately carries a very low survival rate, say mesothelioma attorneys. Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates wants to make sure you're aware of the causes and risks.

Mesothelioma forms in the thin lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart. With about 3,000 new cases diagnosed in America each year, it's considered rare, but deadly. Because the long-term effects of asbestos exposure were unknown for many years, and because it can take several decades for an asbestos-related case to manifest, mesothelioma cases currently primarily affect men over age 60 who worked in military and industrial settings during the height of industrial exposures. Many victims in Florida are retired U.S. sailors and civilians who worked in the state's Navy shipyards during the World War II era.

Asbestos was used in the ship manufacturing, insulation of piles and boilers in steam locomotives, and to line tanks and ovens in refineries. It also was used in the manufacture of home and commercial building materials like joint compounds, cements, roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, siding, stucco and plaster - which means that if you live or work in an older structure, you may be at risk.

Top sources of asbestos exposure over the years include:

  • Shipyards and rail yards
  • Factories
  • Oil refineries
  • Chemical plants
  • Homes and commercial buildings constructed in the early to mid 1900s

Asbestos also can contribute to the development of lung cancer and asbestosis, a serious progressive, non-cancer lung disease.

When caught early, mesothelioma is a manageable, though as yet not curable disease. Unfortunately, it most often is discovered after it has reached advanced stages. This is in part because of the decades-long latency period and because symptoms closely resemble those of other respiratory conditions. Symptoms include chest pain, chronic cough, effusions of the chest and abdomen, and the presence of blood in lung fluid. Currently, survival time after diagnosis averages only about a year, though five-year survival rates are improving as clinical trials of new treatments progress.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you'll want to hire an experienced mesothelioma attorney. Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates has extensive experience representing clients in this complex legal issue. Contact us online for a free consultation