Asbestos is a type of fiber which is a fire retardant. It was used for years in Florida insulation materials and construction work, until it was revealed that the fibers are linked to cancer. Many manufacturers today limit the use of asbestos fibers and both the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have banned many products containing asbestos. Nevertheless, there is no blanket ban on asbestos. As well, many older Florida homes, constructions, and products still contain asbestos which is a hazard.
Today, any new products containing asbestos must clearly state this fact on the label. However, any products made before the 1970s usually have no such warning labels. As well, for thousands of Florida residents, it is already too late for labels: they have been exposed to asbestos and are now suffering the health effects of that earlier exposure. This is because the effects of asbestos can take decades to appear.
Asbestos fibers are so small they can often not be seen by the naked eye. When asbestos fibers are disturbed, they become airborne and can be inhaled. Once inhaled, the fibers gather and remain in the lungs. Eventually, this accumulation can lead to mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the abdominal and chest linings. Asbestos exposure can also lead to asbestosis, a potentially fatal scarring of the links. The more someone is exposed to asbestos, the more likely they are to get one of these diseases.
Asbestos exposure is often a Florida workers compensation problem as well, since asbestos exposure often takes place on the job. In some cases, not enough consideration or investigation takes place before a construction project, leading to the disturbance of asbestos fibers and therefore asbestos exposure.
People who have been exposed to asbestos and have developed asbestosis or mesothelioma can often seek the help of a Florida personal injury attorney in order to get the financial assistance and compensation they are entitled to under the law. A Florida personal injury attorney can help ensure that you have the financial resources and ability to seek the best medical care possible in order to have the best chances of recovery. However, asbestos cases can be challenging, simply because it takes years before symptoms develop. Proving when and how asbestos exposure took place often requires a very talented Florida personal injury attorney.