Massachusetts Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information
Many workers in the state of Massachusetts have been subjected to asbestos exposure in the past. Though today, federal regulations require workers wear protective clothing and masks when dealing with the dangerous material, irreparable damage has already been done to the health of many of the workers who came in contact with it. In fact, like any other state in America, Massachusetts used asbestos as a cheap construction material for most of the twentieth century.
The first known usage of asbestos as a building material dates back to the 1850s. A man named Henry John began experimenting with materials that would allow him to produce fire proof roofing material. In a twist of fate, this man who worked with the substance as a young man would die from his exposure to it. He did, however, come to make a fortune from it. Like many other victims of asbestos inhalation, decades after first being exposed he developed the respiratory symptoms of asbestosis.
In more modern times, researchers estimate that about 758 victims in Massachusetts died from asbestosis between 1980 and 2000. Mesothelioma, a cancer directly identified as being caused by asbestos, is thought to have taken another 613 lives in Massachusetts. The cancer is rare and is known to affect the membranes surrounding the vital organs of a person’s chest and abdominal region. Once established, the disease can metastasize and spread to virtually any other part of the body.
Many of the individuals affected by mesothelioma were previously exposed to the substance while employed in industrial jobs decades ago. Ironically, much of the fireproof “protective” gear available to those employees was actually made of asbestos. Any situation that causes the material’s dust to become airborne, such as when construction materials degrade or break, can result in it being inhaled. After enough inhalation has occurred, the fibers remain trapped inside a person’s body. After a prolonged period of contact with their cells, damage to DNA can occur, causing cancer.
Businesses in Massachusetts used a large amount of asbestos due to the fact that natural deposits exist within the state’s borders. Easy access and effective implementation as a construction material led to extensive usage. Unfortunately, many people have suffered devastating consequences due to their prior exposure, with symptoms often developing years after contact.