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Facts About Asbestos and Mesothelioma Testing

In recent years, awareness about the form of cancer known as mesothelioma has increased significantly, helping persons who are suffering from symptoms of the disease better treat their illness and understand the causes of the painful disease. Individuals who have been exposed to asbestos particles are usually at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma.

Asbestos is a group of minerals that was commonly used in the construction and heating industries. Persons may have been exposed to asbestos fibers during construction, demolition, or other types of work, and individuals who were in the area or lived in a home during renovations or repairs may have also suffered from asbestos exposure. Unfortunately, people who have been exposed to asbestos may not exhibit symptoms immediately, and may experience negative health effects years later.

The meso lawsuit attorneys of Williams Hart would like to provide you with the following information to help explain important facts about testing for mesothelioma and the diagnosis of the disease.

How Is an Area Tested for Asbestos?

Because asbestos fibers are tiny and cannot be seen without a microscope, testing an area for asbestos is a detailed and careful process. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed specific instructions on testing for asbestos and typically requires that material be analyzed in an accredited laboratory.

Samples are often tested using “polarized light microscopy” also known as PLM. Manufactured items that may contain asbestos are usually tested using PLM and the lab analysis will usually show the type of asbestos and the amount contained in the sample. Analysts will usually examine samples to detect:

  • “Blue” asbestos fibers found in high-temperature applications and construction
  • “Brown” asbestos which is commonly found in building materials
  • “White” asbestos which comprises the majority of asbestos fibers found in building materials in the United States.

If you suspect that material contains asbestos, it is important to follow EPA regulations and treat the material carefully. Only trained professionals should take samples for testing and persons who attempt to take a sample without proper qualifications may run the risk of releasing more fibers into the air for inhalation. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are suffering from the symptoms of mesothelioma, it is wise to have an experienced mesothelioma lawsuit lawyer on your side.

Mesothelioma Testing

Persons who have been exposed to asbestos often do not immediately suffer negative health effects, and mesothelioma may even take decades to develop. For that reason, it is often difficult to diagnose mesothelioma, but modern testing methods and a greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos have greatly helped in the correct diagnosis of the disease.

Common symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pains, difficulty breathing, coughing blood, fatigue, unexplained weight-loss, abdominal pain, and others. If a person suspects he or she is suffering from mesothelioma, it is important to consult a medical professional as soon as possible. There are many testing options available for doctors to utilize when testing for the disease, including:

  • X-rays or CT scans to detect asbestos in the stomach or lungs
  • MRI scans
  • Searching for tumors around vital organs
  • Thorascopy or Laporascopy to look at affected areas and take tissue samples
  • Blood testing
  • Positron Emission Tomography

If medical tests show that the individual was indeed exposed to asbestos and is suffering from mesothelioma, a medical professional may recommend different treatment options to the patient. Depending on the location, severity, and spread of the disease, patients may treat the illness with surgery, chemotherapy, chemical treatment, and other options.

For more information on asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, contact the mesothelioma lawyers of Williams Hart at 800-781-3955 today.

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