According to a recent story on the British news site Get Surry, authorities in that country have found asbestos-filled waste a few feet from a pond in a wildlife preserve. Apparently, due to the expense of commercial waste disposal in Britain, illegal dumping of construction trash is fairly common. The unfortunate practice is locally known as, “fly-tipping.”
As if fly-tipping isn’t harmful enough to the environment, the fact that people are illegally dumping asbestos materials in a nature preserve is even more concerning to authorities. Police are on the lookout for suspicious vehicles or activity so that they can catch those responsible.
Asbestos is made from six naturally occurring silicate minerals. Although toxic in its natural form when disturbed, it was commonly refined into fibers during the industrial revolution in Europe and the United States. The fiber form of asbestos is much more dangerous, due to the fact that it can be easily inhaled into the lungs, where it can cause malignant mesothelioma. This deadly form of lung cancer typically forms 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.
The problem for patients is there is no way for doctors to intervene early because the symptoms do not develop for decades after exposure. Once patients are diagnosed, they are often very sick. Some of the major symptoms of mesothelioma are chest pain, coughing up blood, fluid around the lungs and wheezing. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should speak with a Boston mesothelioma lawyer about the facts of your specific situation. You may able to receive financial compensation for your illness. As your attorney will explain, pinpointing the time period of your exposure and the source of your asbestos exposure will be crucial to the success of your case.
Many people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma worked in trades that frequently used asbestos materials. Factories and shipyards were among the largest consumers of asbestos for many years. Construction workers were also routinely exposed to asbestos, which was used in pretty much everything – from insulation to drywall joint compounds, construction adhesives, steam pipes, floor tiles and numerous other building materials.
It is often possible to identify which materials contained asbestos by their appearance. For example, 12-by-12-inch vinyl flooring tiles manufactured in 1970s are very likely to contain asbestos. While they are safe when installed and undisturbed, handling the tiles in any way could lead to asbestos inhalation.
What has been discovered during the many asbestos lawsuits is that, while companies were using asbestos everywhere they could, due the fact that it was cheap and effective, they knew workers were being exposed to the deadly fibers. They also knew it would take years for workers to become sick, so they didn’t bother to warn people or take appropriate safety precautions. The fact that people are still illegally dumping this poison is not only deeply troubling, it makes it likely we will continue to see mesothelioma litigation for many years to come.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Asbestos warning after fly-tipping on beauty spot, August 8, 2014, Staff Report, Get Surry
More Blog Entries:
Mesothelioma Lawsuits for Shipyard Workers, July 30, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog