Pleural mesothelioma is a devastating and almost always fatal cancer of the pleura, which is the delicate membrane that surrounds the lungs. Mesothelioma also can be diagnosed in the intestines, stomach, testicles and heart. But pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the cancer.
The American Cancer Society finds there are 3,000 new mesothelioma diagnoses each year in the United States. (cancer.org). Mesothelioma is one of the rarest cancers, but it is ferocious and very difficult to treat, let alone cure. Most patients with this cancer die within a year, with the five year survivability at well under 10%. Abdominal forms of mesothelioma have a slightly better prognosis but all forms of the cancer are very serious and usually terminal.
Mesothelioma is an unusual cancer in that it is caused generally by only one thing: asbestos exposure. Asbestos has been used heavily in many military, industrial and manufacturing organizations and companies for many decades. Some employers became aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1940s but continued to use it in their organizations. Hundreds of thousands of workers were exposed to toxic asbestos, and some of them developed deadly cancers many years after exposure.
Illinois and Asbestos Exposure
If you worked in this state in any industrial capacity in the past several decades, it is possible you were exposed to asbestos. Being exposed to asbestos for long periods of time can lead to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, as well as asbestosis, an incurable breathing condition that also can lead to death like cancer.
From 1999 to 2015, 2,000 residents of Illinois died from mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. This state has a mesothelioma mortality rate of nine per million each year. McLean, Lake and La Salle counties are among the top 50 in the state with the highest rate of death from the cancer from 2000 until 2009. (CDC.gov)
If you have been employed in manufacturing, power generation or heavy industry in Illinois and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. Your former employer may be responsible for exposing you to asbestos. If so, you may file a worker’s compensation claim against that company, but there are other legal options, too. You may file a third party personal injury lawsuit against the companies that provided your employer with the dangerous materials. Also, you may seek compensation from an asbestos trust fund that many employers have established. It is advised to discuss your case and diagnosis with a mesothelioma attorney in Illinois; there are several attorneys listed at the end of this article who have demonstrated expertise in this field.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. The tiny, sharp asbestos shards that are released when the mineral is moved can be easily inhaled into the lungs. This causes inflammation and scarring as the body cannot expel many of the asbestos fibers.
In some people, genetic changes and mutations over many decades can lead to mesothelioma. If a worker swallows the fibers, they can get into the stomach and intestines and also cause the deadly cancer. (Cancer.org). Lung cancer is different than mesothelioma, so it is important to understand the difference between the two diseases.
Illinois Sites of Asbestos Exposure
People who live in Illinois need not worry about naturally occurring asbestos in this state. But many industries in Illinois used the material heavily in their facilities for more than 50 years. Some of these companies knew they were exposing their workers to high risk and still used asbestos. This fact can expose them to liability in an asbestos legal action.
- Oil refineries: Oil companies such as Citgo Petroleum and Mobil Oil Illinois used asbestos for their oil refining processes. Asbestos is highly heat and flame resistant and while it protected workers and equipment from heat, it also exposed them to asbestos for years.
- Manufacturing: Asbestos is great to resist heat and many chemical reactions, so it was used often in manufacturing processes. Companies such as Nabisco Brands and Kraft Foods in Illinois used asbestos in their plants, thus exposing their workers to serious health risks.
- Power plants: In Illinois there are several large power plants: Baldwin Power Plant and Clinton Power Station. Asbestos was used in their machinery and equipment, which put workers at high risk for asbestos exposure.
- Steel mills: Asbestos was used often in steel manufacturing, with insulation from asbestos often used to protect workers and equipment from the extreme heat produced in the steel making process. Some mills, such as Granite Steel and Keystone Steel and Wire, used asbestos a lot on their equipment but exposed workers to hazardous asbestos.
- Military: Mesothelioma is often a problem for military veterans in Illinois because asbestos was used often in military installations, ships and shipbuilding. Illinois has several military bases, including Rock Island Arsenal that contain asbestos.
Illinois Asbestos Exposure Laws
The Illinois EPA Asbestos Unit is designed to protect citizens of the state and the environment from the dangers of asbestos. The Illinois EPA is the authority in the state that enforced National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for asbestos containing materials that are used in demolition, renovation and disposal. (DPH.gov).
Also, the Illinois Department of Public Health is in charge of reviewing asbestos abatement and management plans for schools in the state. It also goes over abatement projects that are done in Illinois to ensure they are in full compliance with state and federal laws. (Illinois.gov).
Illinois Mesothelioma Attorneys
Many workers in Illinois have been exposed to asbestos over the decades. If you or someone you love was exposed and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can get legal help. We recommend that you schedule a free consultation with one of the mesothelioma attorneys in Illinois provided below.
Cooney & Conway
120 N. Lasalle Street, #3000
Chicago IL 60602
Cooney & Conway is a plaintiffs-only law firm that works out of Chicago. One of their major areas of expertise is asbestos related litigation for military veterans in the state. If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos in the military, you could be eligible for substantial compensation in a lawsuit or worker’s compensation claim. These attorneys also can help you to receive compensation from any asbestos trust fund that the employer has established.
Shrader & Associates
Seeking justice for clients who have been wrongfully injured on the job is the speciality of this Illinois-based, national law firm. They have obtained tens of millions of dollars in compensation for personal injury lawsuit clients, including people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact them today for a free consultation.
Simmons, Hanly and Conroy
One Court Street
Alton IL 62002
This is one of the top mesothelioma law firms in the state and entire country. Since 1999, these attorneys have obtained $5 billion in verdicts and settlements for personal injury claims, as well as $30 million dollars in asbestos-related settlements in Illinois and other states.
- Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality – 1999 to 2015. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a3.htm
- What Causes Mesothelioma? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html
- Key Statistics About Mesothelioma. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/about/key-statistics.html
- Environmental Health Protection for Asbestos. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/asbestos
- Illinois EPA and Asbestos. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/air-quality/asbestos/Pages/default.aspx
- Best Mesothelioma Lawyers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mesolawsuitafterdeath.com/legal/best-mesothelioma-law-firms-navy-veterans/