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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Can a Single Exposure to Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma? 

Referring to multiple brief events or a single instance of exposure, short-term asbestos exposure is associated with low health risks. However, serious health issues are caused when there is short-term exposure to high levels of asbestos. The World Trade Center site is one example of this.


What Is Short-Term Asbestos Exposure?

What Is Short-Term Asbestos Exposure?


Either multiple exposures to asbestos over a few days or a brief and one-time asbestos exposure are referred to as short-term asbestos exposure. Relatively low health risk is posed with short-term exposure to asbestos-containing materials or asbestos dust.


However, individuals risk developing health issues from long-term or chronic exposure to asbestos products. Asbestos-related cancers or other asbestos-related illnesses can also be caused by short-term exposure to high levels of asbestos. These serious illnesses include mesothelioma and asbestosis. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like What are the different types of mesothelioma lawsuits?


Examples of Short-Term Exposure to Asbestos

Here are some common examples of short-term asbestos exposure:

  • Living or working close to a demolition site where asbestos fibers are airborne

  • Destroying any naturally occurring asbestos found in soil

  • Demolishing or remodeling any building structure that has materials with asbestos

Long-Term vs Short-Term Exposure to Asbestos


Referred to as regular exposure, long-term asbestos is when individuals are exposed to asbestos dust or materials containing asbestos over an extended period. Examples of long-term asbestos exposure include:

  • Continued exposure to friends or family members who work around asbestos

  • High-risk occupations where workers are in a contaminated environment

Any individual who has worked in areas contaminated with asbestos daily has experienced long-term exposure. An example of this is the high levels of asbestos in Philadelphia-based public school buildings where many teachers experienced long-term asbestos exposure.


Generally, long-term asbestos exposure is more harmful when compared to short-term exposure. Nonetheless, cases of short-term exposure where there are high levels of asbestos are equally as impactful and dangerous. Events such as 9/11 are proof of this.


Can You Get Asbestos-Related Diseases from Short-Term Exposure?


Asbestos-related diseases are caused by long-term exposure to fibers. Generally considered to carry a lower risk of developing asbestos-related diseases, short-term asbestos exposure is classified as being safer than chronic or prolonged exposure. Nonetheless, it's important to remember that any type of asbestos exposure comes with some level of risk. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can give more insight to questions such as What is considered short term asbestos exposure?


Can One-Time Exposure to Asbestos Cause Lung Cancer?


Mesothelioma cancer can be caused by one-time exposure. Nonetheless, researchers have found that individuals are more likely to develop asbestos-related diseases when there is repeated exposure to asbestos fibers or occupational asbestos exposure.


Considered lower when compared to repeated or long-term exposure, there is still a risk that individuals with one-time exposure to asbestos can contract asbestos-related lung disease.


It needs to be emphasized that no level of asbestos is completely risk-free. Individuals coming in contact with asbestos have an increased risk of asbestos-related disease compared to people who have never been in contact with asbestos. That's why it's advised to completely avoid all exposure to reduce the risk of developing any deadly disease from asbestos.


Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Disease


Asbestos-related diseases develop between 10 to 50 years after initial asbestos exposure. Symptoms of asbestos exposure don't occur in the short term, which is unlike other illnesses.


Patients will present with a persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue when they have asbestos illness. Those affected by known asbestos exposure are recommended to go to a qualified medical professional for lifelong medical monitoring. That's because qualified professionals can help monitor for signs of any illness or cancer risk because developing asbestos-related cancers is common.


How Can Asbestos Exposure Be Prevented?


Laws and regulations are in place to protect people from being exposed to asbestos. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have put federal regulations in place. This has been done to protect people and provide a healthy occupational environment in their schools, homes, and jobs so that they can avoid asbestos exposure.


Preventing Exposure to Asbestos

Individuals can further reduce the risk of occupational exposure when they:

  • Avoid contact with soil where naturally occurring asbestos is high.

  • Consult with a licensed asbestos inspector before performing any renovations or demolitions on buildings constructed before 1980.

  • Keep furnace filters clean.

  • Avoid any abandoned schools, industrial sites, or other buildings that might have asbestos.

Developing Mesothelioma from Asbestos


Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that affects the lining of the lung tissue (pleura) and is often known as malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, individuals can also develop peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the heart (pericardium) and abdomen (peritoneum). Ovarian cancer can also be caused because mesothelioma can affect the lining of the testicles (or tunica vaginalis).


Looking at Mesothelioma Risk


The National Cancer Institute has highlighted that the primary cause of a mesothelioma diagnosis is exposure to asbestos. People can develop mesothelioma from occupational exposure and secondary exposure.


Developing mesothelioma isn't uncommon. Nonetheless, not everyone exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. Many different risk factors contribute to an individual's susceptibility. This includes the intensity and duration of the exposure, as well as environmental and genetic factors.


Legal Options for Mesothelioma Patients


Mesothelioma patients and their families can look at different ways to seek compensation for any harm caused by asbestos exposure. Here are some of the most common:

  • Personal injury lawsuits

  • Asbestos trust funds

  • Product liability lawsuits

  • Wrongful death lawsuits

  • Workers' compensation

  • Veterans' benefits

  • Class action lawsuits


Mesothelioma Cases and How to Seek Compensation

Mesothelioma Cases and How to Seek Compensation


Any person affected by asbestos and considering legal action should consult with an experienced mesothelioma or asbestos attorney in Nashville. These professionals specialize in asbestos-related lawsuits and have the expertise to offer guidance in legal proceedings.


A qualified attorney will help victims determine liability, file all the necessary documentation, navigate the legal process, and negotiate any settlement. Affected individuals are recommended to seek legal advice from attorneys who specialize in asbestos litigation. That's because this will help the affected parties understand the available options and make informed decisions on their asbestos case.


Those interested in learning how Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help them can book a free consultation now.

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