- A malignant tumor usually found in the lining of the lung but sometimes found in the abdomen or around the heart.
- The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos.
- It can take 15–60 years after you inhaled the asbestos for symptoms to develop.
- You can develop mesothelioma after very small amounts of exposure to asbestos.
- Every manufacturer, user and seller of asbestos products has a duty to warn and protect workers from asbestos exposure.
- Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks the protective lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles. This protective lining is called the mesothelium. In later stages of the disease, the organs themselves may become damaged.
- The mesothelium serves a critical function in providing lubrication that helps internal organs to move. A prime example involves the lungs. This lubrication makes it possible for your lungs to expand and contract, allowing you to breathe comfortably.
Depending on its specific location in the body, the mesothelium is called by different names. The likelihood of having cancer in each area varies greatly:
- Pleural mesothelioma: lung and chest areas, 75%
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: abdominal cavity and organs, 25%
- Pericardial mesothelioma: heart and heart cavity, rare
- Tunica vaginalis testis: testicles, extremely rare
Cancerous mesotheliomas may be further categorized into three primary types depending on the specific arrangement of the cells and the percent of cases that have each type:
- Sarcomatoid: fastest spreading, 10-20%
- Epithelioid: slower spreading, 50-60%
- Biphasic (mixed): both types of cells are present, 30%-40%
Symptoms of Mesothelioma of the Lungs or Abdomen
There are a wide range of symptoms that may take years to appear:
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Painful coughing
- Swelling of the neck or face
- Pain under the rib cage or chest pain
- Unexpected or unusual weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Lumps or swelling
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms associated with mesothelioma? If so, after immediately contacting a physician, you may want to consider pursuing your legal options to help pay for your medical needs.
Oftentimes mesothelioma impacts workers (and their families through washing clothes, etc.) in the following occupations:
Auto Mechanic, Boiler Operator, Bricklayer, Maintenance or Superintendent, Carpenter, Sheetrock Installer of Taper, Chemical Plant Worker, Electrician, Flooring Installer, Heating Contractor, Insulator, Ironworker, Laborer, Maintenance Mechanic, Millwright, Plumber, Pipefitter, Power Plant Worker, Refinery Work, Rigger, Roofer Sheet Metal Mechanic, Steam Fitter
Asbestos is commonly found in roofing materials, plasters, siding materials, attic insulations, floor tiles, some forms of linoleum, HVAC duct insulation and more.
The following is a list of the major sources of asbestos exposure:
Asbestos pipe covering - Generally white and gray in color, this product was placed around pipes. It came in half-moon sections.
Asbestos block - Asbestos block was used for insulation around equipment like boilers and tanks. It had a similar appearance to asbestos pipe covering, except it was in a rectangular shape.
Asbestos cement - Asbestos cement had to be mixed with water before being applied. Before being mixed, it had a dry, powdery, white-grayish appearance and was used to fill in gaps when using pipe covering and block on equipment like boilers and tanks.
Asbestos packing – Identified by a braided rope form, this product varied in appearance from grayish-white to graphite black. Packing was utilized to fill gaps in pump connections and other equipment where high heat could be generated. The packing was needed to seal flanges or joints. Depending on its use, asbestos packing could have either an oily or drier consistency.
Asbestos gaskets – Asbestos gasket material was used as a sealant in high temperature lines between flanges and other connections. These products ranged in color from whitish to black, similar to asbestos packing. It was either sold in sheets or it came pre-cut in the form of circles.
Asbestos fire brick - Utilized around furnaces and boilers, asbestos fire brick came in a range of colors from white to gray and was generally cemented in with asbestos furnace cement.
Asbestos furnace cement - Available as either a dry or pre-mixed wet material, asbestos furnace cement was typically used to hold bricks together around furnaces or boilers.
Asbestos flexible duct connectors - This product was used by sheet metal workers generally in making connections for ducts, which would be carrying high temperature air.
Asbestos tape - Asbestos tape came in a variety of colors ranging from white to black. When this product came in black, it was fibrous in appearance. Asbestos tape was typically used by electricians when sealing or making electrical connections.
Asbestos blankets - This product was generally whitish to grayish and used to cover hot equipment while people were working nearby and on turbines or other equipment permanently as an insulating barrier. Asbestos blankets looked very similar to household blankets.
Asbestos wire – With a fibrous appearance, this product came in various forms, but generally had some of the following designations: AF, A, AA, AIA.
Asbestos cable – Asbestos cable had some of the following designations: AVA, AVB or AVL. The outer covering or some of the inner layers would have a fibrous appearance.
Asbestos containing heater cord - This product was the type of asbestos wire generally used on toasters and in high voltage electrical overhead lighting. The wire generally had two conductors and had a fibrous outer covering.
Asbestos brake linings - Asbestos brake linings were used in all vehicles from the time they were first invented until the mid to late 1970s. It was a grayish, bulky material that was attached to the brake shoe. At this time, asbestos was utilized in both disc and drum brakes.
Asbestos clutches – Similarly to asbestos brake lining, asbestos clutches were used in all vehicles from the time they were invented until the 1970s. They were whitish to grayish in color and appeared in the clutch itself.
Asbestos corrugated sheets - Asbestos corrugated sheets were utilized in various buildings as a facing or a siding. They had a wave-like appearance and like most asbestos products, were whitish to grayish in color.
Asbestos gloves - Asbestos gloves had a fibrous appearance and were used as protection from high temperature situations. They came as either a five-finger glove or a mitten.
Asbestos leggings, aprons or other clothes - All asbestos clothing was worn by workers to protect themselves from high temperature operations.
Asbestos ceiling tiles - While asbestos was commonly used in ceiling tiles, it was not used in all of them. In fact, it is difficult to distinguish which tiles did contain asbestos and which did not.
Asbestos floor tiles - Similar to asbestos ceiling tiles, not all floor tiles contained asbestos, making it difficult to distinguish which ones did and which did not.
Asbestos fire-proof spray insulation - This product was applied to various areas within a building for fire-proofing. Once sprayed and dried, it had a fibrous appearance.
Asbestos wall board - This product was an asbestos containing wall board that was used for various framing and sheeting operations.
Asbestos joint compound - Asbestos joint compound came either as a whitish powder that had to be mixed with water or as a pre-mixed material. It had a plaster-like appearance and was used as a sealing compound for joints with asbestos wall board.
Asbestos roofing shingles - This product was very similar in appearance to regular asphalt shingles and was utilized in areas that needed fire-proofing properties. Similar to asbestos floor and ceiling tiles, it was difficult to tell whether or not roofing shingles contained asbestos or not.
Asbestos roofing paper or felt - This product was a tar-like material that contained asbestos and was utilized as a base before asbestos shingles were applied.
Asbestos Transite pipe - Whitish to grayish in color, asbestos Transite pipe was a cement pipe material used in numerous underground conduit situations.
New Jersey and New York Mesothelioma Attorneys
If you have any questions about mesothelioma or possible asbestos exposure, contact the attorneys at Mintz & Geftic for a free consultation.