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California workplace illness: Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma

Asbestos is a material that is used in a variety of products. While it is not found as prominently as it once was, the risk of being exposed to it while on the job is still fairly high in certain fields of employment. Unfortunately, long-term exposure can negatively effect one’s health, possibly resulting in mesothelioma — a form of cancer. When a California resident suffers a workplace illness such as this, he or she may access work comp benefits, which would allow him or her to access medical care and continue to receive financial support while unable to work.

Asbestos exposure is common, simply due to the number of products in which it is used. Most people are not around the material long enough for it to cause any issues. However, as previously stated, there are those who are frequently around this product and are at risk for having health complications as a result. Examples of individuals commonly exposed to asbestos include:

  • Construction workers
  • Asbestos manufacturing employees
  • Auto mechanics
  • Military service members
  • Firefighters
  • Demolition workers

Those who are frequently exposed to asbestos are supposed to wear specialized safety gear in order to protect themselves. However, even with such gear, inhaling asbestos can happen and, over long periods of time, symptoms of illness may present themselves. Mesothelioma is often linked to frequent asbestos exposure. Approximately 3,000 new cases of this deadly form of cancer are reported every year. A few symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Coughing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Exhaustion

Mesothelioma takes time to develop. In fact, in many cases, it does not develop for decades after prolonged asbestos exposure. Those in California who have been diagnosed with this rare form of cancer, or other workplace illness, and who believe that asbestos exposure while on-the-job contributed to their diagnosis, may access workers compensation benefits to help with their medical and financial needs. An experienced attorney can not only assist with filing the appropriate claims, but can also fight for fair and full compensation if claims are cut-off or denied.

Source: FindLaw, “Mesothelioma and Asbestos“, Accessed on Dec. 30, 2016