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Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O'Neil, LLC
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Mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses

While a huge number of environmental conditions and hazards are known to contribute to serious illnesses and diseases, perhaps no other work-related carcinogen is as well known as asbestos. Asbestos exposure is linked to countless deaths across the state of Illinois and the entire country. Exposure incidents may be down as a result of national efforts to remove asbestos from workplaces everywhere, but new asbestos-related diagnoses continue to be made every year. It is for that reason that it is important for workers to be familiar with asbestos illnesses and workers' comp considerations.

According to asbestos.com, one particular type of cancer is specifically linked to asbestos exposure. Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that typically develops in the heart, lungs or abdominal cavity and affects protective membrane tissue. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, and it is only in recent years that progress has been made in developing alternative therapies and treatment options for patients.

One-time and short-term exposure to asbestos can cause the development of mesothelioma, and asbestos exposure is especially prevalent in workplace environments. In the past, people who worked in places like public buildings, auto repair shops and industrial sites experienced the highest rates of asbestos exposure. Consequently, the carcinogen was removed from properties across the country. Given that mesothelioma can develop up to 50 years after asbestos exposure has occurred, however, around 3,000 new diagnoses are made annually.

Global Tort discusses some of the workers' compensation factors that come into play in cases involving asbestos exposure, and explains that Illinois exercises lowered standards for qualifying claims in many instances. Recent court rulings recognize the fact that asbestos-related diseases can take years to present diagnosable symptoms, allowing for some claims to be submitted after the standard 25-year time limit. 

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