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Asbestos illnesses still haunt many Americans

Tens of thousands of victims throughout the world, over 107,000 each year, according to the World Health Organization, suffer from asbestos-related illnesses each year. The product became popular due to its durability and versatility. It was used for a variety of products, from commercial and home construction mixed with cement, woven into fabrics and used as insulation and even for fireproof vests. But, while its heat resistance properties were helpful, little did everyone know that the fibers from the product were highly toxic, known to cause mesothelioma cancer.

It is known to affect a wide variety of workers, especially those in the construction industry, such as plumbers, electricians and pipefitters, as well as shipbuilders and those in the electrical power industry. The product can not only affect workers, but residue and remnants of the product can be taken home while clinging to a worker's clothing and become inhaled by a worker's family as well, becoming a deadly second-hand hazard.

Once the dangers were discovered, it was too late for too many people. Asbestos lawsuits skyrocketed, with cases starting at about 1,000 in 1982 to a total of about 730,000 cases by 2002. Analysists suspect that eventually the number of cases will be over one million.

Mesothelioma cancer and other workplace illnesses requiring long-term medical care are a serious concern for thousands of workers throughout the United States, including in and around Canton, Ohio. If you have been a victim, you may be entitled to workers' compensation to cover not only lost wages, but medical expenses as well.

Source: The Mesothelioma Center, "Asbestos," Accessed April 24, 2017

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