Do You Believe in any of These Myths about Asbestos?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Mesothelioma & Asbestos Published on February 18, 2019 and updated on March 6, 2022.

asbestos warning tapePeople believe a lot of myths and have various misconceptions about asbestos, the mineral that causes mesothelioma and other serious illnesses. Believing these things could prevent you from seeking treatment or exploring legal options when you discover you have an asbestos-related disease.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury through exposure to asbestos, you should contact an experienced Maryland mesothelioma lawyer at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices for assistance with your claim. We can answer any questions you have about the legal process and guide you through every step as we pursue the fair compensation you are owed.

Asbestos Was Banned Years Ago

It is true that the U.S. government banned all new uses for asbestos in 1989. However, the use of this mineral was never completely outlawed and there are still over 3,000 different products in use that contain asbestos materials. For example, you might find asbestos in:

  • Roof shingles
  • Drywall
  • Gaskets in motor vehicles
  • Joint compound
  • Insulation
  • Brake pads
  • Piping
  • Cement

Some products containing asbestos can be found in your local hardware or home improvement store. There are also asbestos-containing products in plumbing and electrical systems.

Asbestos regulations did not require existing structures containing asbestos to be removed, which means any building constructed before 1980 might contain asbestos.

Lawyers Exaggerate the Risks of Asbestos

Asbestos litigation is widespread in this country. However, this is because the risks of asbestos have been well-established by the scientific community. This mineral increases the risk of mesothelioma, asbestos-related cancers in the lungs and asbestosis.

Some may think the dangers lawyers explain are an exaggeration, but the connection between asbestos and numerous medical issues is well-documented. This myth about asbestos persists because of the 20 to 50-year gap between exposure to asbestos and the appearance of symptoms. The symptoms appear minor to start and may present as a different condition.

Asbestos in the Home Should Be Removed Right Away

Sometimes it is best to just leave the area alone and keep it contained to prevent fibers from becoming airborne, particularly if the material is non-friable.

Non-friable is one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s two classifications of asbestos-containing materials. This means the material does not easily crumble with only the slightest pressure.

On the other hand, friable products crush into a fine powder with slight pressure and release fibers into the air. Anyone who breathes in these fibers could end up developing mesothelioma or asbestos-related health complications later in life.

However, whether or not asbestos needs to be removed, you need professional help to find out how to deal with it. They can determine if it just needs to be contained or removed completely.

The Only Disease Caused by Asbestos is Mesothelioma

Breathing in asbestos fibers can lead to a number of diseases that include cancer and noncancerous conditions. Some of the illnesses are progressive, and other medical complications take time to develop. Some conditions linked to asbestos exposure include:

  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural plaques and pleural thickening
  • Pleuritis and pleural effusion
  • Atelectasis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Masks Protect You from Asbestos Inhalation

Masks can protect the person’s mouth from various types of dust, fibers and microscopic materials. However, not all masks and respirator machines provide protection for asbestos exposure. You need one with a special filter that is designed for asbestos fibers.

Also, wearing just a mask is normally not enough with this material. Workers need training regarding safe handling of asbestos. Fibers can remain airborne for a long period and can even contaminate other resources, such as groundwater.

You Cannot Get Mesothelioma Unless You Worked with Asbestos

People often believe this myth because it takes a long time to suffer health problems after you are exposed.

However, asbestos is and was in many different products across the country. People who were not working with asbestos but handling products that contained this mineral could have ingested asbestos fibers. Asbestos can also contaminate soil, groundwater and even the air.

Anyone who spent time with someone who worked with asbestos may have been exposed. Fibers of this mineral could easily have become attached to the worker’s clothes or hair and then become airborne.

Companies Were Unaware of The Risks of Asbestos

For decades, companies have used several techniques to keep the public unaware of how harmful asbestos materials are. These businesses cover up, conceal and even minimize the risk of danger of asbestos. When employees would fall sick from exposure to these fibers, companies would cover up the incident or fire the individual. However, these practices did not stop knowledge of the dangers and side effects of asbestos exposure from getting out there.

Contact Us for Legal Help Today

Our lawyers have many years of experience helping people with mesothelioma and their families recover compensation for damages. We understand the devastating effects of this disease and are committed to fighting for your best interests in the legal process.

We offer a free consultation with no obligation to you. We will review your case and determine an appropriate course of action based on your specific circumstances. If you decide to move forward, we will represent you on contingency. This means there is no fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Contact our offices today to get started.