Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma most often occurs in the outer lining of the lungs, but it may also occur in the lining of the abdomen, the heart, and the sac that surrounds the heart.
Mesothelioma is only caused by asbestos and is unrelated to cigarette smoking. Asbestos is a toxic substance found on many job sites including railroads, railways, mines, steel mills, chemical plants, oil refineries, power plants, shipyards, textile plants, and demolition sites. Even though mesothelioma is most often found in people exposed to asbestos on the job, the families of these workers are also at risk. When a person works around asbestos particles, they can bring the particles home on their clothing and skin.
As early as the 1950s, the link between asbestos exposure and cancer became known. However, many employers, including railroads, continued to expose their workers to asbestos without protection or warning.
More about mesothelioma is becoming known all the time. Environmental Health Perspectives recently published a study that linked the high use of asbestos in industrialized countries to the high number of mesothelioma-related deaths in those countries. That same study found 15-20% of mesothelioma cases go unreported.
Railroad workers have a high risk of having been exposed to asbestos. However, there are increased risks of mesothelioma wherever asbestos exposure occurs, regardless of your job or job title.
The most common symptoms of mesothelioma are difficulty in breathing and chest pain. Other symptoms include wheezing, hoarseness, weight loss, coughing, fluid around the lungs, coughing up blood, and fatigue.
If you or someone you know has symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses, contact your doctor. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us at Doran & Murphy. We can help you in your search for justice, and the compensation you deserve to offset the burden of costly medical treatments.