Asbestos & Mesothelioma in Illinois

What are asbestos and where are they generally found?

One of the most widespread occupational hazards that exists in the United States is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos are a natural occurring compound that appear in many building materials. Asbestos were once praised for their sturdiness and their ability to withstand heat, and were used in ceiling tiles, roofing shingles, insulation and other construction materials. If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos it is important to contact an experienced lawyer, because you may be entitled to compensation.

The use of asbestos declined in the 1970s when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration begin to regulate, however, the risk of exposure remains in many industries. Occupations such as construction workers, shipyard workers, cement workers, and power plant workers remain at risk of being exposed. Additionally, even though the use of asbestos has been phased out of many building products, many asbestos related illnesses take a long time to present themselves.

Why are asbestos dangerous?

The resistance of asbestos are what make them so dangerous to people. Today, asbestos are classified as a known carcinogen. Asbestos are dangerous because they are small fibers that can enter the body through breath. Often construction workers or shipbuilders worked in close proximity to asbestos without proper ventilation. Inhaling these fibers often leads to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Between 1999 and 2013 there were 9,720 asbestos related deaths. Cook County averaged about 209 deaths from asbestos per year during that time period.

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that most often occurs in the thin membrane lining the lungs or abdomen. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. This rate is steadily rising. Virtually all cases of mesothelioma in the U.S. are linked to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma can appear and progress very rapidly. However, it usually does not manifest itself until several decades after the first exposure to asbestos.

What rights do you have if you have been exposed to asbestos?

Illinois and federal law give workers the right to work in environments where they are not exposed to harmful hazards and chemicals. Workers also have rights to receive information about potential hazards that exist in the workplace. A worker who receives an asbestos related illness cannot be fired simply because that worker reports a dangerous condition. Dangerous working conditions can be reported to an OSHA regional office. Chicago’s regional office can be contacted here.

How can a Chicago Attorney help?

Our firm is a full service litigation law firm with offices in the Chicago area. Though the issues in Asbestos and Mesothelioma cases are multi-faceted, we never forget that behind every lawsuit is a real person that has been injured or suffered a wrongful death through exposure to asbestos, and that your family that is trying to regroup physically, emotionally, and financially.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us online or call us at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal options.