Nationwide Asbestos Injury and Personal Injury Blog

Asbestos exposure still a frequent threat in many states

Being one of the most polluted states, Illinois sees a high number of fatalities from diseases linked to asbestos exposure. In fact, it comes in seventh in a list of the 15 worst states. These states saw a combined total of over 100,000 asbestos-related deaths between 1999 and 2013. The following is a brief summary of that list.

Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin form the bottom three, reporting between 4,800 and 5,300 deaths. In North Carolina especially, many miners and manufacturing workers are exposed. Its tobacco policy, according to some, also leaves something to be desired. Next are Massachusetts and Virginia, two states associated with their shipbuilding industries. Shipbuilders are known to use asbestos freely.

Missouri resident charged with felony DUI after fatal crash

A 28-year-old Missouri resident has been charged with felony drunk driving in connection with an Oct. 20 accident in Boone County that claimed the life of one of his two passengers and left the other seriously injured. The Columbia man was ordered held without bond because he is considered a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Police believe that the man lost control of his Subaru Impreza sedan in the vicinity of Blackfoot Road and North Stadium Boulevard near Cosmo Park at approximately 11:00 p.m. Accident investigators later concluded that the car had left the ground at a high rate of speed before striking several trees and coming to a rest. A 28-year-old man who had been traveling in the rear of the car was pronounced dead at the scene. Paramedics transported the woman sitting in the front passenger seat to a nearby hospital.

What to do if you suspect a drunk driver is in your midst

If an Illinois driver imbibes alcohol then gets behind the wheel of a car to drive, it doesn't necessarily mean he or she will be illegally operating a motor vehicle. Alcohol may affect your body a lot differently than it affects another person. In fact, if you drink a particular type of alcohol on one occasion, it may affect you differently than the same kind of drink on another day.  

Many factors have an impact on how your bloodstream absorbs alcohol and how it affects your brain, such as whether or not you were eating and drinking water while you imbibed, how much you weigh and, of course, how much alcohol you happened to have consumed. You can control your own choices, but there may little you can do to change another person's actions. You are at great risk for injury if a drunk driver is sharing your roadway.  

Know the signs of mesothelioma

Many people in Missouri and Southern Illinois are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. While there are some screening tests for people with known exposure to asbestos, such as X-rays or CT scans, most cases of the disease are discovered when a patient visits his or her doctor with symptoms of the disease.

Medical experts recommend that individuals who have been exposed to asbestos learn about the potential signs of mesothelioma. In most cases, these signs will end up being caused by some other medical condition, but it's important for people to be on the lookout for all new symptoms and report them to their doctors just to be safe.

An overview of malign asbestos-related diseases

Exposure to asbestos, especially to high amounts of it over a long period of time, can result in certain malign diseases. The most frequent are discussed below so that workers in Illinois are aware of the risks. Asbestos is, after all, the single largest cause of occupational cancers to date in the U.S.

Mesothelioma, the most frequently occurring asbestos-related disease, causes more than 3,000 deaths every year in this country. The cancer develops along the mesothelium, or thin protective lining, of the lungs, stomach, heart and testicles. Each of these types will exhibit different symptoms, but symptoms they all share include chest or abdominal pain and shortness of breath.

Health concerns that may point to mesothelioma

You may have worked in a specific industry for your entire career and never really thought of your work as dangerous. However, there may have been some hazards lurking out of sight that have come back to haunt you years later, possibly even after your retirement. In particular, asbestos may have harmed you without you even realizing until years after your exposure.

In fact, cancer is a very real and not uncommon result from this type of exposure. Unfortunately, mesothelioma, which often stems from asbestos exposure, has no cure, and if you receive this diagnosis, you could face pain, medical expenses, mental distress and a number of other hardships.

What leads to poor indoor air quality in the workplace

Employers in Missouri may have wellness programs in place that help employees engage in healthy physical activity. However, these cannot help when the physical environment itself is unhealthy. OSHA is clear about the dangers that poor indoor air quality can pose for workers. Side effects include headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and inflammation of the throat and lungs.

Airborne toxins are a major factor. Two well-known examples are mold and asbestos. Mold is always in the atmosphere and can be introduced through HVAC systems and open windows. Even when mold levels are not high, the fungus can still cause nasal stuffiness, coughing and skin irritation in those who are allergic.

EPA may allow more products with asbestos

Asbestos was used widely in the U.S. from the late 1800s to the 1970s until its use was banned in wallboard patching compounds and gas fireplaces. In 1989, the Asbestos Ban and Phase-Out rule prohibited all new uses of asbestos, specifically in flooring felt, commercial paper, corrugated paper, rollboard and specialty paper. Missouri residents should know, however, that the EPA is making a drastic change.

In June 2018, the agency enacted a Significant New Use Rule that allows manufacturers of new products containing asbestos to petition and seek approval for distribution. Opponents claim that the EPA is no longer concerned with potential exposure and is ignoring improper asbestos disposal, contamination, emissions and other risks to health and the environment.

The health consequences of benzene can be significant

Benzene is just about everywhere, but in certain occupations, your risk of exposure is greater than the average person. Depending on how it's used in your workplace, you could end up inhaling it, getting it on your skin or ingesting it.

With enough exposure, you could begin to suffer certain health conditions associated with this chemical. The kind of ailment you could suffer depends on the length, type and amount of your exposure.

Truck and three vehicles involved in accident

Police in Illinois say that an 11-year-old boy was seriously injured in a crash that took place on Aug. 19. The crash occurred at about 10:46 a.m on Interstate 88 in Naperville, and police say that multiple vehicles were involved. A commercial truck rear-ended a Nissan that the boy was in while it and two other vehicles were slowed by traffic. Police say that the truck failed to slow down prior to the collision.

The crash caused the Nissan to collide with a Lexus, and the Lexus was then propelled into a Chevy. In addition to the male child, the driver and another adult passenger in the Nissan were taken to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment. There were no specifics as to the severity of the injuries experienced by the adults. The driver of the Lexus and a passenger were treated at Presence Mercy Medical Center.

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