Mesothelioma is a serious cancer of the lung lining and other organ linings that is nearly always fatal. Pleural mesothelioma in the lung lining is diagnosed in 80% of cases, but cancer can also affect the delicate membranes surrounding the intestines, stomach, heart and testicles.
The American Cancer Society has found there are approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma per year. (cancer.org). While it is a rare form of cancer, it is extremely aggressive, painful and hard to treat. Most people with pleural mesothelioma do not live more than one or two years from mesothelioma diagnosis, although people with other forms of the disease may live longer.
Mesothelioma is mostly caused by asbestos exposure and is thus usually preventable for most victims. Asbestos was commonly used in many industries for decades for its heat and fire-resistant properties.
Pennsylvania and Asbestos Exposure
If you worked or lived in this state, there is a possibility you may have been exposed to asbestos in the home or on the job. The CDC reports from 1999 to 2015, approximately 2,780 residents of Pennsylvania died from mesothelioma. The state has the second-highest death rate from the disease at 13 people per million. At least 40 asbestos mines or deposits have been found in Pennsylvania, and the highest death rate from the disease occurs in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. These cities have long been the industrial centers of the state. (CDC.gov)
If you worked in manufacturing or heavy industry in Pennsylvania, such as in a steel mill or automotive construction facility, and were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. It needs to be proven by your mesothelioma attorney that your employer or former employer was negligent. It also is possible to file a third-party lawsuit in Pennsylvania against the companies that provided your employer with materials containing asbestos. At the end of this article is the contact information for several top mesothelioma attorneys who file claims in Pennsylvania for mesothelioma victims.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
It is common to confuse mesothelioma and lung cancer; they are different diseases. Lung cancer is often caused by smoking, while mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Also, the cancer in pleural mesothelioma is not inside the lung; it affects the lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma happens when the DNA in the lung lining is damaged over the decades by inhaled asbestos fibers.
Over many years, the millions of asbestos fibers inhaled into the lung tissue leads to inflammation and scarring. For some patients, this process can lead to genetic mutations that cause cancer. If you swallow the asbestos fibers, it can get into the abdomen and cause mesothelioma there. (Cancer.org)
Pennsylvania Sites of Asbestos Exposure
Western Pennsylvania has long been an important area of the country for steel production, especially in Pittsburgh, while the Philadelphia area was the home of shipping, railroads and textile manufacturing. Below is more information about the various industries in Pennsylvania that have contributed to asbestos exposure in some workers:
Pennsylvania does not have a lot of coastline, but the state has long been the home of shipbuilding. Philadelphia has full access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Delaware River and made it a natural place for shipbuilding companies to establish themselves. Some of the shipbuilding companies that have exposed workers to asbestos include William Cramp and Sons, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and Hog Island Shipyard. Other cities in the state had shipyards too, including the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. Asbestos was used heavily in the building of ships, especially around boilers, pipes and gaskets.
The city of Pittsburgh is called the Steel City. The steel industry has been the major source of economic growth for the town for decades. Making steel requires a high degree of heat and flame at high temperatures. Asbestos was often used to protect equipment and workers from being hurt by the high heat. Some foundries and steel mills that used asbestos in steel production were the Aliquippa Steel Company, National Steel Company, Pittsburgh Steel Foundry and the Bethlehem Steel Mill.
During the railroad boom in the 1800s and early 1900s, Erie, Pennsylvania was a major city where locomotives were produced. Railroad and locomotive companies including General Electric Transportation Systems and Pennsylvania Railroad produced locomotives. But many of their workers were exposed to asbestos, which was used in the locomotives and the equipment that was used to construct them.
Pennsylvania is thousands of miles from the dangerous vermiculite mines in Montana, but the state still dealt with asbestos that was made from that mineral that was shipped into the state. From 1948 until 1993, the WR Grace Corp shipped 425,000 tons of the mineral into the state to a major processing facility in New Castle PA. It was made into insulation and various gardening products. It is unknown how many workers were exposed to hazardous asbestos during these processes.
Pennsylvania Asbestos Exposure Laws
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or DEP enforces various federal and state regulations regarding asbestos exposure in the state. These regulations relate to the collection, removal, transportation and disposal of all asbestos-containing materials in the state. The DEP also administers requirements that must be followed before any asbestos abatement process occurs. (DEP.PA.gov).
Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Attorneys
Many Pennsylvania workers were exposed to asbestos over many decades in this state’s industrial economy. If you or a loved one in Pennsylvania has developed mesothelioma, it is advised to talk to one of the excellent Pennsylvania mesothelioma attorneys below. You need to have been diagnosed with a condition related to asbestos exposure to have a potential case.
Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler
30 South 15th St.
Philadelphia PA 19102
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, these Philadelphia asbestos lawsuit attorneys know how quickly your family’s emotional and financial health can be devastated. They are strong advocates in the state for workers who were exposed to asbestos. Contact them today for a free consultation.
Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman
20 Stanwix St., 7th Floor
Pittsburgh PA 15222
These attorneys in Pittsburgh are an excellent choice for your asbestos exposure case. Two partner attorneys focus only on asbestos and mesothelioma cases. These attorneys have over 50 years of experience in asbestos litigation, including knowledge on scientific research on the mineral and its effects on the body; the history of asbestos use in Pennsylvania and surrounding states; the many legal options for victims (worker’s compensation, asbestos trust funds, and third party lawsuits).
Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers
209 State Street
Harrisburg PA 17101
The personal injury attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have offered mesothelioma and asbestosis clients with outstanding legal representation for more than 25 years in Pennsylvania. They can help you get the maximum possible compensation if you have been exposed to asbestos.
- 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
- Asbestos Regulation Information. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Air/BAQ/BusinessTopics/Pages/Asbestos.aspx