Pleural plaques involve thickening of the tissues around the lungs and the diaphragm. While there are generally no symptoms, the condition can be serious and potentially life threatening if left untreated, and is a common side effect of exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen responsible for several types of cancer, and its full effects on those who have been exposed to it often take years to develop. At Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., our experienced asbestos attorneys help victims of pleural plaques and related disorders get compensation for the losses they suffer, by holding manufacturers and other accountable for the damage they caused.
Asbestos and Pleural Plaques
Asbestos is a mineral composed of bundles of tiny fibers which can get into the air and be either inhaled or swallowed. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that pleural plaques are caused when these asbestos fibers are breathed into the lungs. The fibers build up in the pleura, which is the tissue around the lungs, causing it to thicken and harden. In some cases, these tissues can become thick enough to compress part of the lung, impacting the victim’s ability to breath normally, and can eventually develop into lung cancer and disease.
Pleural plaques may develop in people who live in older homes with building materials made of asbestos. They can also develop in those who work in industries that manufacture or rely on products made with the substance. While it was once widely used throughout the Philadelphia area, its use became limited throughout the 1970s. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos in the manufacture of new products, but products developed prior to 1989 are exempt from the ban.
Exposed To Asbestos
Most of us are exposed to asbestos at some point in our lives, but there are certain occupations which can increase your risk of developing pleural plaques and related disorders. According the National Cancer Institute (NCI), those most at risk include the following:
- Construction and demolition workers;
- Shipyard workers;
- Airplane and auto mechanics;
- Electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, and welders;
- HVAC mechanics and insulation removal workers;
- Painters, bricklayers, and cement plant employees.
In addition to the above, firefighters and rescue workers are also at risk. The NCI reports that asbestos was used in the construction of the Word Trade Center, and that studies indicate that as many as 70 percent of rescue and recovery workers experienced pleural plaques and similar lung disorders.
Our Philadelphia Asbestos Attorneys Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pleural plaques or other respiratory illness as the result of asbestos exposure, contact Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. today. Our team of attorneys can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable, so that you and your loved ones can get the compensation you need to deal with your illness. When it comes to your health and your family’s financial security, get the assurance that comes with knowing you have an award winning team on your side.