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Number of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer Cases on the Rise

Asbestos has long-been known to be the cause of mesothelioma, an always fatal form of cancer that is diagnosed in roughly 2,500 to 3,500 Americans every year.  The mineral, which has long been used because of its characteristic strength and heat and flame resistance, was largely banned for use in the United States because of its carcinogenic effects. Unfortunately, people continue to be diagnosed, in large part because of the fact that it takes such a long time for mesothelioma to begin exhibiting its symptoms.

Unfortunately, asbestos continues to be a problem in our environment, and continues to make people sick.  Exposure can occur from such diverse sources as the insulation that exists in our homes or workplaces to the brake linings found in the vehicles that we drive. And now there is increasing evidence that asbestos is also responsible for large numbers of cases of lung cancer. As a result, more and more lung cancer claims are beginning to be filed against asbestos companies, in the same way that mesothelioma claims have been filed for the past few decades.

Lawsuits have successfully been filed against asbestos companies, holding them responsible for the mesothelioma that has been diagnosed in their employees and others that were exposed to their products, but up until now, there have not been many lung cancer cases that have been filed. Though this may be because lung cancer has traditionally been thought of as a smoking-related disease, many expert witnesses are now giving testimony indicating that asbestos can be a significant factor in the development of lung cancer.  People who no longer smoke but who did at the same time that they worked around asbestos or shared a home with somebody who worked with or around asbestos have been able to win significant damages from asbestos companies.

In addition to these claims proving to be successful at trial, the bankruptcy trusts have historically paid substantial damages to those who have lung cancer claims, and even those who have a long-time smoking history can be classified as non smokers if it has been some time since they were smoking.  This means that those who have been diagnosed with lung cancer and who have a history of both asbestos exposure and cigarette smoking may no longer need to fear that they will be unable to file suits against the asbestos companies responsible for their illness. Testimony about the synergistic effect of the combination of the two carcinogens has proven to be acceptable to juries.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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