What is the Link Between Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos use was widespread for decades, and millions of people were exposed to it at work or secondhand. Some have developed serious diseases as a result of their exposure. Often, companies knew about the dangers but did not adequately warn or protect people from exposure. If you or a loved one suffered injury or death from an asbestos-related illness such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer in Washington without delay. A Springfield asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer can help you through the legal process to recover the compensation you deserve.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure Basics

“Asbestos” refers to a family of naturally occurring minerals that can be separated into thin, tiny, flexible threads. These fibers are soft but highly durable, resistant to heat and chemicals, and don’t conduct electricity. As a result, asbestos was commonly used for many years as an insulating material in various commercial and industrial settings and products. Unfortunately, it is also highly toxic. Though this was known as early as the 1950s, asbestos continued to be used without proper warning or safety precautions, exposing millions.

Asbestos-Related Diseases

Whenever an asbestos-containing material is disturbed, the tiny fibers can become airborne and be inhaled or ingested. They can spread widely through the body, where they get trapped and can cause irritation, inflammation, scarring, and even cancer. Several disabling and life-threatening diseases can result from exposure, often after many years—sometimes as long as 10-50 years later. These diseases are usually due to recurring exposure on the job, but secondhand (in family members) and environmental exposures also occur. Mesothelioma and asbestos exposure-related diseases include:

  • Asbestosis (scarring of the lung)
  • Mesothelioma (a type of cancer)
  • Pleural effusion (water around the lungs)
  • Pleural thickening and plaques (scarring of the lining of the chest cavity)
  • Other cancers: lung cancer, throat cancers, and ovarian cancer


Asbestos fibers trapped inside the lungs can result in inflammation and eventual scarring of the lung tissue. When severe, it can interfere with proper lung function, leading to coughing, shortness of breath, and disability. The time between inhalation and diagnosis of asbestosis can be as long as 25 to 40 years. There is no cure, and it can get progressively worse even after exposure to asbestos has stopped.


Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer that affects the mesothelium (the thin linings that surround many body cavities and internal organs). There is clear evidence that asbestos causes mesothelioma, with at least 80% of mesothelioma patients having a known history of asbestos exposure (and the rest possibly being exposed without their knowledge). Although rare, it’s the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos. It’s a very dangerous and aggressive cancer, difficult to treat, and often fatal. Asbestos is the only known cause of this deadly cancer. Different types of mesothelioma depend on what part of the body is affected:

  • Pleural mesothelioma — occurs in the pleura, the lining of the chest cavity surrounding the lungs; this is the most common, accounting for 80-85% of cases
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma — occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity
  • Pericardial mesothelioma — occurs in the lining surrounding the heart and is the rarest form

Other Cancers

Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer). There is evidence that asbestos exposure is linked to an increased risk of cancers of the lung, throat, ovary, stomach, and bowel. Anyone suffering from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos should contact a Springfield lawyer right away.

Speak with a Springfield Asbestos and Mesothelioma Attorney

These cases can be complicated and involve complex issues. A lot depends on the evaluation of your situation and the facts of your case. I’ll meet with you and carefully listen so I can understand your concerns and what happened to you or your loved one. I’ll work to have your claim evaluated, clearly explain the options, and answer any questions you might have. I can help get the information we need to consider all your options and make the right choices for your case.

If you are in Springfield, IL, Bloomington, IL, or anywhere in Central Illinois, and you feel you might need a Springfield asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer because you or a loved one have a claim related to mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, please contact me for more information.