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Mesothelioma: Myths and Misconceptions

Updated April 28, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

There’s a lot of good information online, but some myths persist. This includes misconceptions about the disease mesothelioma: where it comes from, who gets it, and what going to trial for an asbestos injury case looks like. With so much on your mind with your diagnosis, it can be hard to find the facts, so the lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are here to shed light on the truth behind some common myths.

Myth: I Don’t Know Where I Was Exposed to Asbestos, So I Don’t Have a Case

A lot of people don’t know where they encountered asbestos, but they deserve recovery for their injuries. Law firms that specialize in mesothelioma cases often employ or have contact with occupational or environmental medicine experts who work to help people figure out where they could have been exposed. Any personal injury attorney specializing in mesothelioma settlements will also know where to look, so whether you were exposed at work, school, in your home, or somewhere else, your attorney’s job is to figure it out so you can get compensation.

Myth: Mesothelioma Is a Lung Cancer

While it’s true that mesothelioma is a cancer and that it commonly shows up in the lungs, it’s not true that mesothelioma is a lung cancer. It can develop around the lungs but also around the lining of the abdomen, heart, and testicles. Mesothelioma doesn’t even develop inside of organs at all: It affects the tissue lining known as the mesothelium that lubricates organs and allows them to function properly.

Myth: Only Long-Term, Job-Related Exposure to Asbestos Puts You at Risk

Because a lot of the people who become diagnosed with mesothelioma are men who worked in industries that used asbestos, people think the disease is unique to them. However, even if they don’t work in industrial settings, women could also have been exposed to asbestos. Women and children are more commonly secondary exposure victims who encountered asbestos while doing laundry or greeting their spouse or parent after they get home from work.

Myth: There’s No Risk of Exposure Anymore; Asbestos Is Banned

Asbestos is not banned in the United States, despite the regulations being stricter. Consumer goods, commonly hardware or home improvement products, can still contain asbestos, often under the labels “Canadian fiber” or “chrysotile.” Additionally, buildings that were constructed or renovated between 1930 and 1980 are far more likely to have asbestos in materials like the ceiling, floor, and some fixtures.

Myth: Mesothelioma Is an Older Person’s Disease

No matter what age you are, you can develop this type of cancer. Younger people are more likely to have developed it because of secondary asbestos exposure than older people. The reason this myth prevails is because mesothelioma takes many years to develop, by which point someone who was directly exposed to it is likely to be older.

Myth: If You Were Exposed to Mesothelioma in the Military, You Can’t Sue the Government

This myth is technically true, in that veterans can’t sue the government. However, this doesn’t mean that veterans are incapable of suing a liable party for asbestos exposure at all. In this case, your recourse is likely going to be against manufacturers that supplied the asbestos products to the government. Veterans could also get benefits from the Veterans Association for their asbestos exposure illness. Your path to recovering damages might not be an obvious one, but an attorney can help you figure out your options.

Myth: I Have Asbestos in My Home! I Need to Remove It Now!

Not so fast. Asbestos isn’t dangerous if it’s intact. If you damage it or if it disintegrates into dust due to old age, then inhalation and therefore exposure can be a problem. No matter what you do, don’t try to remove asbestos on your own, because you might endanger yourself and the people around you. Professional asbestos removal services have the proper equipment, training, and licensure to remove and dispose of this chemical, so if you feel that your home is dangerous, call them.

Contact a Workplace Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured at your place of work or have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Workplace Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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