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Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, existing in different forms, some of which are more hazardous for people’s health than others. Because of its insulation and fire-resistant properties, industries used asbestos in many different products before the risk to people’s health became publicly well-known. When asbestos breaks down, people can breathe the fibers which lodge in the lungs or other body areas and can eventually lead to disease. Some areas of the country have more exposure to asbestos than others, and lung cancer and asbestos in West Virginia is fairly common.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rated West Virginia as one of 13 states that has the highest incidence of lung cancer. Coal mining is a major industry in West Virginia and most of West Virginia’s counties have coal mines. There are numerous coal refineries. Metalworking shops and power plants used asbestos as insulation and factory workers experienced considerable asbestos exposure. However, the mere use or presence of asbestos does not put people in danger. Unless asbestos is airborne, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) do not consider it dangerous for people’s health. Low level exposure that is not continuous does not adversely affect most people’s health. According to the American Cancer Society, workers who smoke and are exposed to asbestos are five times more at risk for developing lung cancer than other workers.
If you or a loved one had significant asbestos exposure and a doctor has diagnosed you with lung cancer, consult West Virginia asbestos lawyers about the prospects of pursuing a case.
Prim Law Firm helps clients hold negligent industries accountable for asbestos exposure and provides strong representation to recover compensation.