Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that can cause lung damage, cancer, and even death. If you believe that you’ve been exposed to asbestos, don’t panic. There are resources available and steps you can take to mitigate the damage. Here is what you should do if you believe you’ve encountered asbestos.
Have the Substance Examined
It’s nearly impossible to tell if a material contains asbestos unless it is labeled as such. Therefore, if you believe that your home or workplace contains a material that is made from asbestos, the best thing to do is contact a professional and have it tested. The EPA suggests that you should contact an asbestos professional if you are planning to remodel your home or your home contains damaged building materials such as crumbling drywall and insulation. If you believe that your workplace contains asbestos, you should contact your supervisor or the owner of the building and have them contact a professional inspector. Don’t attempt to make contact with the material yourself — a professional will have the proper training to deal with the suspicious material and avoid potential health risks.
Call Your Doctor
If you have the material inspected, and it comes back positive for asbestos, the first thing you should do is contact your doctor to assess the damage. The same goes for anyone in your family or workplace who has also been exposed. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms at the moment, you still need to contact a doctor. The effects of asbestosis typically do not show up for 10 to 40 years after initial exposure to the material. A licensed physician will be able to examine your lungs to find out how much exposure you’ve suffered and how severe the damage is. Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse the damage done by asbestosis, however, there are treatments available that can mitigate the effects.
Retain Legal Counsel
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, you have legal rights to receive compensation for your pain and suffering, especially if the exposure occurred while you were at work. Most of the companies that manufactured asbestos-related products have gone out of business due to frequent lawsuits that came from industrial workers who were exposed to the material. However, these companies set up what are called asbestos trust funds for subsequent claims. If you’ve been exposed to a toxic amount of asbestos, either at home or on the job, you should retain legal counsel to find out if you are entitled to a settlement from one of these trust funds. Reputable attorneys such as the offices of Simmons, Hanly, & Conroy are willing and able to take on your case and help you seek the justice you deserve. Nothing can erase the damage done by asbestos exposure, however, a settlement can help pay for your treatment and give your family a financial cushion in the event you are no longer able to work, or you pass away due to complications related to asbestos exposure.