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Asbestos was used for decades in construction and shipbuilding. If you or someone close to you has worked as a drywaller, pipefitter, or in the Navy, you may have been exposed to harmful asbestos fibers. Learn more >

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Warning Signs of Asbestos-related Diseases

Exposure to asbestos in the workplace or environment puts you at risk for a number of serious diseases, including:

  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Mesothelioma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural fibrosis

While mesothelioma can affect the lining of the abdominal cavity, diseases caused by asbestos generally affect the lungs. Because of this, they tend to have similar symptoms. If you begin to experience any of the symptoms discussed on this page, seek medical attention right away. The sooner a health condition is diagnosed, the better the prognosis will be. Contact an asbestos lawyer at Williams Hart for more information on mesothelioma by calling 800-781-3955.

Warning Signs of Asbestos-Related Diseases

Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home needs to keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath, especially if it worsens over time
  • A dry, persistent, non-productive cough
  • A change in your normal cough
  • Chronic chest pain
  • Tightness in the chest area
  • Blood in the sputum you cough up from your lungs
  • Abdominal pain from fluid collected in the peritoneum
  • Hoarseness or raspy voice
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Significant weight loss without any apparent cause
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clubbed fingertips may indicate advanced asbestosis

What Doctors Look For

There are certain symptoms that doctors look for when they suspect lung conditions such as those caused by asbestos. If you are concerned about exposure to asbestos, ask your doctor about:

  • A ‘crackling’ sound when listening to your lungs (which can indicate pleural plaques)
  • A dull thud when thumping the chest rather than a hollow sound (which can indicate pleural effusion, or fluid collected around the lungs)
  • Opaque white spots on the lungs in chest X-rays (which may be pleural plaques)
  • Pleural fibrosis may show up in X-rays or CT scans
  • Asbestos fibers in the sputum or in fluids collected from around the lungs

Additional tests you doctor may order include a biopsy of any tumors or plaques found in your lungs, or analysis of fluids collected from the fluids around your lungs or in the abdominal cavity.

Professions at Risk from Asbestos

You should pay particular attention to these symptoms if you or a household member were ever employed in one of the following high-risk professions:

  • Automobile mechanic, especially working on brakes or clutches
  • The asbestos refining or mining industry
  • Shipfitter
  • Steel mill worker
  • Insulator
  • Boilermaker or repair worker
  • Custodian working with furnaces and boilers
  • Pipe fitter
  • Construction worker
  • Demolition worker
  • Renovations in older buildings

You should also be vigilant for the signs and symptoms of asbestos-related diseases if you live around any factory, mill, mine, refining plant or other business that was involved in the milling, refining or use of asbestos, or if you worked with vermiculite during the 1970s and 1980s.

Contact an Asbestos-Related Disease Attorney

If you were exposed to asbestos and are diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition like mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural effusions, pleural thickening, pleural fibrosis or lung cancer, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and damage caused by asbestos.

Since the laws on filing an asbestos lawsuit vary from state to state – and are changing – you need to contact an experienced asbestos attorney, such as Williams Hart Law Firm, to find out what your right to compensation is under the law. Call 800-781-3955 today to learn more.

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