Understanding Exposure Injuries and Your Rights

What do thermal insulation, refractory, brake linings, vinyl floor tiles, roof shingles, plaster, and cement often have in common?

They all can contain asbestos, exposure to which can lead to a deadly, incurable form of cancer called mesothelioma. Symptoms may not even appear for many years, even half a century after exposure.

The American Cancer Society pegs the number of new cases in the U.S. each year at approximately 3,000, and it lists the average onset age for mesothelioma of the chest as 72. The group also says the number of new cases leveled off in the U.S. in the 1990s after rising for two decades.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact me at The Fostel Law Firm. I have worked on cases nationwide for the past 20 years.  I work to help individuals and their families receive the compensation they deserve due to their diagnosis of mesothelioma.  Likewise, if you’ve suffered injuries from any hazardous exposure, contact my office.

Laws and Regulations Protecting
Against Exposure to Asbestos

In 1989, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) partially banned products like corrugated paper, commercial paper, and any new commercial uses of these asbestos-containing substances. That ban remains in effect today.

In April 2019, the EPA also issued a final rule allowing it to review and potentially restrict or prohibit an expansive list of asbestos-containing products that are no longer on the market but could be sold again. Such products include vinyl floor tiles, insulation, and other building materials, as well as clothing and manufacturing products.

In December 2020, the EPA released a preliminary risk evaluation of chrysotile asbestos, which is a substance imported for use in automobile parts to the tune of 100 metric tons a year. The continuing evaluation, being conducted under the framework of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is scheduled to end in another year with the possibility of new restrictions or regulations.

Starting in 1972 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began issuing several standards covering the use of asbestos products in construction, shipyards, and general industry, including mines, oil fields, and automotive shops. It has established a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air over a 30-minute period. Employers are mandated to measure PEL and ensure that no one is exposed beyond this limit.

Common Asbestos Exposure
Symptoms and Injuries

Asbestos fibers are strongly resistant to heat, making them useful in a variety of applications. Brake linings, for instance, heat up every time the brakes are applied, so heat resistance is an important component.

The problem arises when asbestos is broken up and becomes dust. For instance, when removing asbestos insulation in refineries and petrochemical plants, these dust particles can then be ingested or inhaled, and the particles can settle in the lungs or stomach.

Fibers that cling to the skin or clothes (if no personal protective equipment is being worn) can later scatter into the environment to be breathed in or ingested by yourself or others you come into contact with. Enough skin exposure can also cause a rash.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Unusual lumps of tissue in the chest

The most common type of the disease, which is a form of cancer, is called pleural mesothelioma, which affects the pleura which is the lining around the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the next most common form and affects the peritoneum which is the lining around the abdominal cavity. Other, rarer forms are pericardial mesothelioma affecting the lining around the heart and mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis affecting tissue surrounding the testicles.

What to Do If You’re
Exposed or Diagnosed

First and foremost, make sure you have quality medical attention.  You will also need quality legal help.  Contact The Fostel Law Firm.  I am Clay Fostel and I promise to personally handle your claim.

Asbestos & Mesothelioma Attorney
Serving Houston, Texas

When facing mesothelioma, which is a fatal disease, you deserve full and just compensation. You also deserve compassion and understanding.  You need to know that your family WILL be taken care of.  At The Fostel Law Firm, I have 20 years of experience in helping victims of mesothelioma and their loved ones in litigation. I have represented mesothelioma victims nationwide and possess both the knowledge, trial skills, and resources to help you or your loved ones pursue what you deserve due to the negligence of the responsible parties.  I believe in care and compassion.  I want to take the legal stress off of you and your family members, so your focus can be on your health and medical treatments. 

Contact me today for a free consultation. I will work with you to explain — and then pursue — the best legal options available to you. Additionally, my practice is not limited to injury from asbestos. If you’ve suffered any hazard-based or exposure injury, call immediately.


Recent Posts