Mesothelioma Lawyers, William Kherkher
Mesothelioma – Why it Ravages the Lungs
We’ve all seen the news in recent years regarding exposure to asbestos and the condition that results in some exposure victims – mesothelioma. As much as we would all like to avoid any exposure to asbestos in order to minimize our chances for developing this terrible disease, the unfortunate news is that if you’ve already been exposed to asbestos at high levels, it could be too late, as once the “wheels are in motion,” it’s apparently impossible to prevent the ultimate development of the disease.
Below we’d like to take a look at the structure of the lungs to see why asbestos causes such devastating and irreparable damage to those who suffer from mesothelioma.
The Lung’s Structure
The human lung is a powerful organ, and it can handle an incredible workload, much like the heart. The lungs, obviously, are responsible for our respiration, which is the process by which humans take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. The lungs also contain an enormous capacity of airways – about 1,500 miles worth to be exact – which means that we have a maze of pathways within the lung tissue.
Generally, humans without some sort of disease or congenital condition that weakens the lungs experience peak performance in their lungs during their late teens and early 20’s, and thereafter see their lung capacity decrease by an average of about 1% per year. That number rises to 2% per year in smokers, and rises even that much more if a disease such as lung cancer or mesothelioma is involved.
Mesothelioma gets its name because when tiny, sometimes microscopic asbestos fibers are inhaled, they tend to get “stuck” in the walls of the mesothelium, which is a protective layer that surrounds the body’s internal organs, including the pleura, which cover the lungs. If the mesothelium is damaged, it causes a chain reaction of negative events inside the body.
When these fibers stick and coagulate within the protective tissue, it severely limits the ability of the organs inside this layer to function properly, thus limiting breathing capacity in a progressive manner, as a coat of material surrounds these fibers in an attempt to remove them from the body, which reduces the capacity of the airwaves mentioned above. A rough analogy would be dumping a bag of sugar into a gas tank, as those fibers will clog your exhaust system and lead to a total breakdown in your engine’s ability to function.
However, an engine breakdown isn’t inherently deadly, but mesothelioma is. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and need to explore your legal options, contact an asbestos lawyer at Williams Kherkher today to schedule a free initial consultation.