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Can a Single Exposure to Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?

Doctor reviews chest X-ray with patient

Repeat asbestos exposure increases risks, but a single event can result in cancer decades later.

One-time exposure to asbestos, a mineral once widely used in various industries for its cost-effectiveness and durability, can lead to the development of serious diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. While the risk associated with a single exposure is generally lower than repeated or prolonged exposure, everyone needs to understand that any amount of contact with asbestos poses a threat.

Many individuals with mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer are unaware of their entitlement to compensation for medical expenses and losses. The lack of information is exacerbated by the delayed onset of symptoms, which may not appear until decades after asbestos exposure. Some affected individuals may not even recall their past exposure, further complicating their ability to seek rightful compensation.

The Ferrell Law Group has more than 30 years of experience helping victims and their families connect illnesses to toxic exposure. We want to set the record straight about how asbestos exposure - even a single event - can cause an individual to develop mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer, as well as what victims can do to get the justice and accountability they deserve.

How does asbestos exposure happen?

The people most likely to be exposed to asbestos are those working in construction, shipbuilding, automotive, power plants, and manufacturing facilities. However, at some time during their lives, just about everyone is exposed to asbestos. At low levels, asbestos is present in the air, water, and soil.

While most people do not become ill from exposure, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. That means even being exposed to a small amount just one time could contribute to causing cancer. Whether a person develops mesothelioma or lung cancer due to asbestos will depend on various factors, including:

  • Personal health and lifestyle choices
  • Duration of incident, multiple exposure incidents
  • Type and concentration of toxic material

Repeated exposure raises the risk of cancer, but a one-time exposure to asbestos can cause someone to develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer 20-70 years after the incident. A single event and a diagnosis are typically enough of a basis for an individual and their family to qualify for financial compensation from one or more multi-billion-dollar asbestos trust funds (ATFs).

How to prove you were exposed to asbestos

A diagnosis linking asbestos to a victim's illness is necessary to file a successful asbestos claim or lawsuit.

The chest X-ray is currently the most common tool for detecting asbestos-related diseases. Although chest X-rays cannot detect asbestos fibers in the lungs, they can help identify any early signs of lung disease resulting from asbestos exposure.

If a doctor suspects asbestos, lung cancer, or mesothelioma, they can refer the victim to a medical specialist with access to a mesothelioma lab. Lung biopsy analysis is often used to diagnose the presence of asbestos fibers and its contribution to cancer.

It is particularly important to check with a doctor if a person is over age 60, worked in a high-risk industry, and has any of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness
  • A persistent cough that gets worse over time
  • Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up from the lungs
  • Pain or tightening in the chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the neck or face
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue or anemia

Collecting evidence for a strong asbestos claim

Although the risk of lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, and mesothelioma rises with each case of asbestos exposure, studies show that asbestos-related diseases can develop in people with only brief exposures.

Unfortunately, people who develop mesothelioma due to a one-time incident may not remember the event. They may have never been informed the incident occurred. That's why it's important to contact an experienced mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer lawyer as soon as possible after a diagnosis.

A lawyer with decades of experience filing asbestos claims and lawsuits across the U.S. will understand how to research a victim's work history and collect the evidence necessary to build a strong legal case. Victims don't have to remember everything, but they do have to make the initial call to a lawyer.

The Ferrell Law Group is committed to getting mesothelioma victims the compensation, respect, and justice they deserve. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer, contact us for a free and confidential case consultation. At no cost to you, a member of our team can answer your asbestos-related legal questions and give you the information you need to help you decide what to do next.

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