Most Illinois residents are aware that exposure to asbestos can be dangerous. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from asbestos-related illnesses were exposed to it before the full extent of the damage it can cause was understood. Symptoms can show up as little as a decade later and as long as 40 years later.
Typical industries in which people may have been exposed to asbestos in the decades prior to the late 1970s include manufacturing, mining and milling. Job titles may have included electrician, construction worker, asbestos miner, railroad workers and shipyard workers, among others. Any workers who were involved in working with asbestos removal may also have been at risk. Family members of employees exposed to asbestos may also have been at risk of secondhand exposure from asbestos fibers brought home from the workplace on their clothing.
Symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses
Some symptoms of illness related to asbestos exposure are similar to those of other ailments, such as a dry cough that persists, weight and appetite loss, shortness of breath and chest pain. Clubbing of fingers and toes, which means your fingertips and toes are unusually wide and round, is another symptom. You may develop asbestosis, a chronic lung problem, or you might be at a higher risk for lung cancer and other types of cancer. There is also a rare form of cancer, mesothelioma, that people may develop after asbestos exposure.
If you have developed an illness related to asbestos exposure or someone in your family has, you might want to contact an attorney to discuss what your options might be. It may be possible to file a lawsuit against a former employer that was responsible for the exposure even if it was decades ago, and the compensation might be vital in paying related expenses.