A significant percentage of people who worked before 1977 were exposed to asbestos. This is because before then, major regulations had not been employed. Thus, asbestos was used in paint, fire-proofing and insulation.
Asbestos can take years to show its effects after initial exposure. Your parent may have symptoms now, including:
Shortness of breath
Asbestos fibers can cause the lung tissue to scar, stiffening it. This can make it hard for someone to breathe. The longer an affected person suffers this without medical help, the worse the scarring gets. Accordingly, it may be hard for the lungs to contract and expand as usual due to the increased stiffness, which can be life-threatening.
Shortness of breath may occur after a physical activity in the beginning. But eventually it can happen any time.
When asbestos fibers settle in the lining of the lungs, they may irritate it. This may lead to the thickening of the lining, which can put more pressure on the lungs, causing one to persistently dry cough in addition to shortness of breath.
The thickening of the lining of the lungs causes discomfort, which leads to chest pains, especially when coughing. One may also feel like the chest is extremely tight.
Unexplained weight loss
If your parent is unexplainably losing weight, and they have the symptoms discussed above, the chances are they have an asbestos-related complication. This is because the symptoms they have may make them lose their appetite. For instance, it may be hard for them to eat when they have consistent chest pain or tightness.
Asbestos exposure can lead to life-threatening diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. If your parent was exposed to asbestos, you should learn more about the case to help them get the compensation they deserve.