Ask Us Your Questions About Asbestos Exposure And Mesothelioma
As premier mesothelioma attorneys in the PNW, we answer many questions such as those below for potential and current clients.
How does asbestos exposure occur?
Most often, people have been knowingly or unknowingly exposed to asbestos in work environments like shipyards, oil refineries, paper mills, and steel and aluminum mills. We’ve also dealt with workers such as electricians, cable installers, auto mechanics, architects, and air balancers who were exposed from the asbestos-containing products used in their day to day work. If you have an older home, materials like flooring, roofing shingles, “popcorn” ceilings, certain pipe materials and insulated furnaces may expose you to this toxic material if you disturb it.
Less frequently, though it does happen, spouses or children may be exposed from their loved one bringing asbestos dust home from their jobs and interacting with it somehow—from laundry or even hugs at the end of the day. This is known as secondary or household exposure to asbestos (see below).
Another known source of asbestos exposure is the long-term use of talcum powder, which may have been contaminated with asbestos. If you have questions about whether you may have been exposed to something that had asbestos, give us a call.
What is secondary or household asbestos exposure?
Exposure through someone else, such as a close family member who has worked around asbestos and passes it to you, is described as secondary asbestos exposure. For example, if you work at a construction site and your spouse washes your clothes every weekend, they could become exposed by regularly touching your clothes.
What industries or jobs can carry the risk of asbestos exposure?
People who have worked in the following job locations—among many others—may have been exposed to asbestos on the job:
- Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton
- Todd and Lockheed shipyards on Harbor Island, in Seattle
- Naval ships and ferries
- Steel and aluminum mills, and paper mills operated by companies such as Bethlehem Steel, Alcoa, Kaiser Aluminum, Intalco, and Western Steel
- Oil refineries near Cherry Point and Anacortes, such as Shell, Arco, Texaco, ExxonMobil
- Timber or paper mills, such as Weyerhaeuser, Crown Zellerbach, Kimberly Clark, Longview Fibre, and Port Townsend Paper Mill
- Working with or around insulation contractors, such as EJ Bartells, Metalclad, Brand
- Working with or around construction and maintenance jobs, including jobs such as laborers, pipefitters, insulators (also known as “asbestos workers”), millwrights, electricians, ironworkers, helpers, pipe welders, bricklayers, and more
- Hanford Nuclear Facility
- Universities and schools across the state (working in places like interstitial spaces, equipment and boiler rooms)
- Older hotels and hospitals (working in interstitial spaces, equipment and boiler rooms)
- Car mechanics or shadetree mechanics who performed brake and clutch work on cars and trucks
Tradespeople such as electricians and plumbers are also at risk after they have handled asbestos-containing materials and worked in environments containing asbestos dust. If you are worried that you may have worked in a job that exposed you to asbestos, give us a call.
Is there a medical test to check if I was exposed to asbestos?
Although there is no medical test for asbestos exposure per se, tests may reveal that someone has mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer. Medical professionals understand the diagnosis of these diseases to be an indicator that asbestos exposure previously occurred.
Keep in mind, asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period. This means that you may not develop any disease from asbestos exposure for decades afterward, if at all.
Are government benefits or bankruptcy trust funds immediately available for asbestos-related illnesses?
Contrary to what you might see on TV or other websites, there are no government benefits specifically designated for asbestos-related illnesses.
Likewise, it is a common misnomer to think that bankruptcy trusts have millions of dollars waiting to be paid to you. These trusts are former companies now in bankruptcy, and receive claims from thousands of claimants each year. Accordingly, if you are qualified, they will pay you only a small percentage of their valuation of your harm.
A lawsuit against negligent parties is the way to get maximum compensation for your asbestos-related disease.
How do I know if I have mesothelioma?
If your doctor suspects that your symptoms are related to mesothelioma (such as shortness of breath), they will conduct or order appropriate tests to confirm that you have the disease
What should I do after being diagnosed with mesothelioma?
Follow doctors’ orders for treatment and get legal advice as soon as possible. Your medical treatment history may be important for your potential case.
How do I know if I have a case?
If you have an asbestos-related diagnosis and your attorney determines where you were likely exposed to asbestos, you have the essential elements for a claim. Give us a call to see if we can help you.
What should I do if my parent was diagnosed with mesothelioma because of asbestos or asbestos-containing talc exposure?
Urge your mother or father to get legal advice as well as medical treatment.
How much does legal representation cost for mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure?
Because we work on a contingency-fee basis, we don’t get paid until we recover money for you. This means that we won’t charge you until after your case is settled and you won’t owe any money up-front.