Asbestos Disease Latency

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All diseases have a latency period between the time of exposure and the time your body manifests symptoms. For many illnesses, this time period is relatively short: anywhere from a day to a few days after you are exposed to a germ or a virus, you may get sick. In the case of asbestos illnesses, the latency period is much longer. It may take 20 or even 50 years after exposure for an individual to be diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness.

When a person breathes in asbestos fibers, there is no immediate effect on his or her system. This is because the fibers are so small that they enter the body unnoticed. Individuals could inhale asbestos dust for years and be completely unaware that anything was amiss, especially if they did not know that there was asbestos present in the environment. It could take decades for this realization to set in, once a diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer is confirmed by a doctor.

Asbestos fibers, due to their size and durability, can slip past all of the body’s defenses and lie dormant in the lungs, causing scarring (asbestosis) and lung cancer, or working their way into the lining of the lungs or abdomen and causing mesothelioma. An asbestos illness diagnosis is often shocking and unexpected, due to the time that has passed since the victim worked with or around the material. 

Asbestos latency is one of the reasons these cases can be difficult to prove without experienced representation. PWHD has a staff of committed, knowledgeable attorneys and experts with a track record of success in asbestos litigation that goes back over 30 years. If you or a loved one has been injured by exposure to asbestos, contact our firm for a case evaluation today.

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