Individuals living in Illinois should be aware of the symptoms of asbestosis, a disease resulting from prolonged exposure to asbestos. The symptoms of asbestosis can include cough, shortness of breath, weight loss, loss of appetite and chest pains. These symptoms might not show up until decades after the patient was exposed to asbestos, so it’s important for the patient to review their life history.

Exposure to asbestos

Decades ago, asbestos was a common building material used in homes and businesses due to its fire-resistant properties. Countless contractors, miners and electricians were exposed to the material over the years, which led to numerous health issues. Eventually, the U.S. government placed strict regulations on the use of asbestos. However, the health effects of this material are still being felt today.

Asbestosis starts when an individual inhales asbestos fibers over a long period of time. The fibers settle inside their lungs and irritate the tissue, causing stiffness and scarring. Over time, it becomes increasingly harder to breathe. Patients with asbestosis also have an increased risk of lung cancer later in life. The people most at risk for asbestosis are miners, mechanics, workers, contractors and others who might have worked directly with the material prior to the 1970s.

What individuals should do if they were exposed to asbestos

If an individual was exposed to asbestos and developed cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis or another disease related to exposure, that individual might wish to talk to a lawyer. A legal professional may be able to assess their case and help them figure out if they’re entitled to compensation. If they are, the lawyer might help the client collect evidence to prove that they developed an illness as a result of prolonged exposure. As a result, the client might be entitled to a settlement from the company that exposed them to asbestos.