A recent $25 million settlement for miners in another state could prove promising for asbestos victims in Ohio. More than 100 people were awarded the money from their state for its failure to warn residents and their families of the high levels of asbestos to which they were being exposed from a nearby mine, and its accompanying dangers. This case of asbestos litigation will hopefully encourage other victims to step forward and seek legal recompense for their suffering.
While the use of asbestos has declined since its dangers were recognized, it was once a prevalent building material in Ohio and nationwide, used by companies ranging from construction to automotive manufacturing. Sadly, it was only after the loss of many lives due to the cancer caused by asbestos exposure that the material was finally declared unsafe. Today, there is even an Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization whose purpose is to use education, advocacy and community to end asbestos exposure.
A little hope for mesothelioma victims is always a good thing. The American Cancer Society reports that around 3,000 people in Ohio and across the country are diagnosed with the incurable, fatal disease every year, and treatment is generally palliative. The director of one of the country's leading research hospitals says mesothelioma is among the deadliest cancers known. It often takes decades to develop and often begins showing symptoms only after it is too late to treat.
Asbestos is a slow killer, affecting victims decades after exposure. Asbestos causes 107,000 deaths and more than 1,523,000 disabilities each year around the world. The chemical poses a serious threat to many unsuspecting Americans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finally gotten a step ahead in its fight to ban the chemical.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma is catastrophic. There is no cure for the fatal form of cancer of the chest and abdomen, and because of its dormancy, victims can typically expect their lives to end only a short time after their diagnosis. The link between mesothelioma and asbestos exposure is widely accepted. Although the use of asbestos in Ohio and across the country has declined over the decades, the risk of exposure still exists because it was so widely used in building construction and automotive manufacturing.
Ohio is a high-risk state for asbestos-related disease due to the major industries here. Unfortunately, symptoms from asbestos exposure take a very long time to show. Even though steps are being made to decrease the risk of asbestos exposure, those exposed in the past may still face the consequences in the future.
When someone in Ohio receives a diagnosis of mesothelioma, the prognosis is usually bleak. Mesothelioma often shows no symptoms until the cancer has progressed to its later stages. Because it may present with flu-like symptoms, mesothelioma is sometimes misdiagnosed until the point at which treatment options are limited. Those options, when applied aggressively, along with positive lifestyle changes, may add time and quality to a patient's life.
Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer in the tissues of the lungs and other organs. A diagnosis of mesothelioma means one's family will probably be preparing for the worst. The patient faces the possibility of multiple surgeries, radiation and chemo treatments along with their respective side effects. Mesothelioma and some other cancers are known to result from asbestos exposure, and the state of Ohio is among those that have more than their fair share of suffering.
The dangers of asbestos have been known for decades. In fact, for over a century, researchers have been connecting certain cancers with prolonged asbestos exposure. Nevertheless, the toxic materials remain in many older buildings in Ohio and across the country. Some parents may be shocked to learn that hundreds of thousands of those buildings are schools.
Because of its once prevalent use in all manners of building, it is not always easy to know beforehand when a construction or worksite is plagued with the toxic substance known as asbestos. However, once Ohio employers are made aware, all necessary efforts should be taken to protect workers who will be in the vicinity. A shipyard that failed to do so was recently hit with a proposed penalty of nearly $1.4 million after many of its workers were unjustly subjected to asbestos exposure.