Despite the constant media attention throughout the past two decades, there is still quite a bit of confusion surrounding the impact of asbestos. To those who have not yet been affected by it, asbestos is a nondescript source of danger found in who-knows-where. Most people know it can be found in older homes, and some people know that it affects your lungs. But what is it, actually?

Asbestos: A cheap, heat resistant material that was commonly used in construction materials throughout the mid 20th century. 

What you don’t know: Asbestos is not banned.

What asbestos companies don’t want you to know: Asbestos  causes many diseases including a serious cancer called mesothelioma. Even casual, secondhand exposure can lead to life-threatening disease. More importantly, the asbestos companies knew that their products could result in mesothelioma and continued to sell asbestos-containing products to construction companies and make a profit. 

What you need to know: You are still at risk for asbestos exposure today. When asbestos products are disturbed, the fibers can release into the air. Inhaling these fibers can place you at great risk for asbestos cancers.

Just recently, a discovery of asbestos has lead to the closing of approximately 30 acres of land on Horn Island, a popular sport for recreational boating and fishing in the Mississippi Sound. The area is indefinitely closed for a clean up after broken roofing tiles containing asbestos were found at the former U.S Army biological testing site. The wreckage was a result of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil spill that scattered the tiles over one acre. 

Even though it was contained to a relatively small area, asbestos fibers are extremely tiny and travel through the air. Therefore, it’s difficult to calculate the area of Horn Island that is at risk for exposure.

Military sites are synonymous with asbestos exposure. Several military bases have been closed as a result of being deemed environmentally unsuitable.  Asbestos was once used in training facilities, housing, and vessels such as ships, submarines and aircrafts. Although the military has taken extensive measures to protect its divisions from exposure, areas can still pose a risk to citizens and veterans alike. 

Homes build prior to the late 1970s can also run a high risk for asbestos exposure. Any new construction on existing structures can disturb asbestos and potentially expose families and surrounding areas to asbestos fibers.

The nature of asbestos exposure: It is possible to develop health problems immediately as a result of inhaling high levels of asbestos. Such was the case with the survivors of 9/11. Destruction of buildings released dormant asbestos fibers into the air, demonstrating the underlying risk of asbestos products used in older structures. 

However, most asbestos victims develop diseases decades after exposure. Often, workers do not realized they have developed fatal diseases from asbestos exposure until the disease is in advanced stages. This can place a great burden on the victim and his or her family and make legal action against asbestos companies seem difficult, but the attorneys at Baron and Budd have helped numerous asbestos victims trace back to time of exposure and provide well-needed support.

What you should know now: If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, such as mesothelioma, you may have a right to recovery from the companies who knowingly put you at risk. Once a patient is diagnosed, you have anywhere from one to three years to file a lawsuit, depending on the state you reside in.

Dealing with mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can be an arduous and emotional journey. This can be heightened by the worry of the costs associated with a lawsuit. The truth is, it doesn’t cost a dime to file a lawsuit against asbestos companies.  Baron and Budd has been helping those affected by asbestos diseases to achieve compensation for their struggles.  The firm works on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if we achieve compensation for you. For over 30 years, Baron and Budd has been fighting asbestos companies on behalf of mesothelioma victims and their families. The firm takes great pride in its long track record of success.