Asbestos Exposure and Firefighters
In addition to regularly risking their lives with exposure to carbon monoxide, smoke inhalation, and burns while fighting flames, firefighters endure other repercussions of their occupation. Because firefighters must enter any burning building without regard to toxic construction materials such as lead and arsenic, exposure is common. Another potential killer is asbestos.
Asbestos was conventionally used in construction of homes, as well as many household items, such as hairdryers and kitchen appliances. Because of its fire resistance, any structure built before 1980 may contain the toxic substance. For firefighters, the risk of exposure occurs when collapsing materials release asbestos fibers into the air. During the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, an estimated 2,000 tons of asbestos was released into the atmosphere when the buildings collapsed, subjecting thousands to potential health issues in the future.
After exposure, asbestos can cause devastating health consequences including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that attacks the inner lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, and blood coughed up in the sputum. Unfortunately, symptoms usually take fifteen to forty years to develop, leading to a late diagnosis which hinders treatment efficacy
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos, contact the Mesothelioma Lawsuit Lawyers of Williams Kherkher at 800-781-3955 to discuss your legal options and to schedule a free initial consultation.