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Hold Your Breath: Asbestos Exposure Kills 15,000 in U.S. Each Year

asbestos hazards

Over 200 businesses in Milwaukee were found to have asbestos containing materials (ACM) over the years, according to Mesothelioma.com. Their website states that only 144 asbestos-related deaths were reported in the Milwaukee area over a 20-year span before the year 2000. With the current national numbers at 15,000 U.S. citizens dying each year from asbestos-related diseases, however, it is likely that many more cases in Milwaukee remained unreported.

OSHA’s website states that “Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion.” The properties of asbestos made it a great product for building materials like insulation, floor tiles, popcorn ceilings, and even vehicle brakes and clutches. In fact, it’s still being mined and imported today. We’re just told to avoid breathing it in.

Asbestos is now known to be a deadly carcinogen that can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, and it is fairly easy to be accidentally exposed through nearby construction or even in your office building or home. Click here to see where asbestos could be in your home.

The people most exposed to asbestos are those who work in construction, demolition, or clean-up of buildings, according to a Cancer.gov factsheet on asbestos, but they could also expose their families and the people who live and work in the area to the toxic substance. Also, ACMs are still in many schools, homes and office buildings. The factsheet mentions that cases of disease from ACM exposure are fairly rare. However, people can become sick from one exposure just as easily as from extended exposure.

Think you might have been exposed? Here are some of the symptoms from Asbestos.com to have checked out:

  • Swelling of the neck or face
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Crackling sound when breathing
  • Shortness of breath

If you have any symptoms related to lung diseases, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Tell your physician if you could have been exposed to asbestos. You will also want to consult a qualified attorney if you become ill from asbestos exposure. Medical expenses soar high and are ongoing for lung diseases. There are many safety precautions and standards that construction companies and employers must follow regarding exposure to ACM, so your exposure might be from lack of due diligence. The lawyers at Sperling Law Offices LLC in Milwaukee are compassionate and experienced. Give them a call at 414-273-7777 for a free consultation or visit www.MilwaukeeLawFirm.com.