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How do I know if I have an asbestos-related illness?

Workers in Connecticut who were employed in various industries that resulted in them being exposed to asbestos through ignorance or by willful disregard for their safety on the part of their employers need to know the signs of asbestos-related illness. Because the issues that can arise after being exposed to asbestos are so damaging and often fatal, there's the possibility that the individual will become sick and die without realizing exactly what it was that made them sick in the first place.

When it comes to workplace illness, one of the most avoidable is those due to exposure to asbestos. In some industries, there was a profound lack of awareness as to the risks involved. In others, there were attempts to cover up the dangers to save money or through lack of care. With asbestos-related illness, the signals can come and go for as many as four decades before the sick person and his or her family realize that something is truly amiss.

Pleural issues are related to the lungs and with a problem known as pleural plaque and there might not be any symptoms at all. If there is a pleural effusion, the sufferer might experience pain in a side of the chest. An x-ray can show that there's damage due to asbestos exposure and these problems might come up as early warning signals in contrast to other health issues linked to asbestos. Asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma are other diseases that are known to be linked to asbestos. Feeling short of breath when exerting oneself, tiredness and a dry cough are signs of asbestosis. Lung cancer can be indicated by coughing up blood, experiencing chest pain or having difficulty breathing. Feeling short of breath from pleural effusion is a sign of mesothelioma.

Lung disease from exposure to asbestos often comes as a shock to those who didn't realize they were working with a substance that is known to cause such long-term issues. With these diseases come hefty medical bills, the inability to work and an illness that is essentially terminal. Companies that are penalized for having used asbestos often fight to avoid having to pay to clean it up. They certainly don't want to pay for workers who were exposed and became sick. It is then that it is important that workers who experience workplace illness due to asbestos should discuss their case with a qualified legal professional.

Source: nhlbi.nih.gov, "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Lung Diseases?," accessed on Sept. 23, 2014

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