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Does Brief Exposure to Asbestos Cause People to Develop Mesothelioma?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Mesothelioma & Asbestos Apr 15, 2022

asbestos fibers up closeYou may have heard there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. However, it is important to note people usually develop asbestos-related diseases after repeated exposure over a long period of time.

Below, we discuss the difference between short and long-term exposure to asbestos and potential health consequences. We also discuss making sure short-term exposure to asbestos does not turn into long-term exposure to asbestos.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer or another asbestos-related disease, our firm is prepared to help. We have secured millions on behalf of asbestos victims and have successfully taken on large corporations on behalf of victims.

Schedule a free legal consultation today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees for our services, and our mesothelioma lawyers in Maryland are not paid unless our clients receive compensation.

What is Short-Term Exposure to Asbestos?

Short-term asbestos exposure refers to exposure for just a few days. Typically, this level of exposure does not result in significant illness.

That said, there are extreme examples of short-term asbestos exposure that can result in significant illness. For example, the events that occurred on 9/11 in New York City caused some people to be exposed to a significant amount of asbestos. This put them at a much higher risk of severe illness later, as asbestos often takes 10-20 years or more to cause symptoms and illnesses.

It is important to note that being exposed to asbestos for a few minutes many times increases the risk of severe illness. If you are renovating your house and you are exposed to a small amount of asbestos one time, you probably will not develop symptoms of an illness.

However, if you do not seal off the asbestos or safely remove it, you could unknowingly be exposed to it many more times while you live in the house. If you know you were exposed to asbestos once, it is best to take steps to ensure you will not be exposed to it again.

When Could Short-Term Exposure Become Dangerous?

The risk from asbestos exposure depends on various factors. For example, if the product with asbestos was damaged/crumbly, the product was drilled, sawed or scraped, and the area was poorly ventilated, you likely inhaled a significant amount of asbestos dust. The only mitigating factor would be if you took safety precautions to limit inhalation of asbestos fibers.

The worst type of exposure occurs when the air is visibly cloudy. Smoking can also make you more likely to develop an asbestos-related disease when combined with asbestos exposure.

Fortunately, your risk of significant illness is probably low, even though you may have been careless. The important thing is to learn from it and try to avoid the same type of exposure again.

Typically, asbestos-related diseases develop because the victim has millions of microscopic asbestos fibers in his or her lung tissue or membrane lining.

When Are Asbestos-Related Diseases More Likely to Occur?

For the most part, asbestos-related diseases develop after years of regular exposure. People who worked with insulation in the 1950s and 1960s were at high risk for developing asbestos-related illness later in life.

It is important to note certain genetic mutations may make people more likely to develop asbestos-related illness. The type of asbestos you are exposed to also affects your risk of illness. Chrysotile asbestos is known to be dangerous, but other types of asbestos may be even worse.

Working in a contaminated environment or living in a contaminated environment also increases your risk of asbestos-related illness.  

While significant asbestos exposure increases your risk of illness, it is important to note most people who are exposed to asbestos in large amounts do not get mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Men are more likely to develop mesothelioma because they often worked in dangerous jobs. However, women could also get sick because of secondhand exposure because their husband could bring asbestos fibers home on clothes.

Family members could also get sick because of asbestos in the home that gets released into the air because it continues to be disturbed.

Contact Us Today to Discuss Possible Legal Options

For decades, our licensed attorneys have been advocating for the rights of the injured in Maryland. This includes the rights of those who have developed asbestos-related illnesses.

We offer a free legal consultation to discuss possible legal options, and there is no obligation to hire our firm if we find you have a valid case.

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Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.

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