Exposure to asbestos is not always obvious at the time. Many people live years or even decades after exposure before developing sometimes subtle but troubling symptoms. When those symptoms end up pointing to mesothelioma, victims in South Carolina can be understandably angry and confused, and it is often the families who are left behind to address the injustices that lead to these types of diagnoses.
Alongside her daughter, one woman is working to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos after losing her husband to mesothelioma. Before he was diagnosed, her husband seemed to be gaining a large amount of weight in his stomach. The sudden growth in his abdomen coupled with a persistent cough and shortness of breath landed him in the doctor’s office, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. When he worsened despite treatment he was sent to the Mayo clinic and told he had mesothelioma. He was 40 years old at the time and died only a short while later.
He was routinely exposed to asbestos while working as a boiler maker in the 1980s, and his surviving wife and daughter are working to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos. Many people believe that asbestos is no longer a threat because the United States no longer mines and exports the toxic substance, but it is still imported into the country and used in a wide range of products. The health effects of asbestos are devastating, and the survival rate five years after a mesothelioma diagnosis is only somewhere between 1 and 9 percent.
Workers in South Carolina should not have to sacrifice their health and longevity just to hold down a job. Unfortunately, many industries fail to protect vulnerable workers. The situation is not all hopeless, though. Families who have lost loved ones to mesothelioma often choose to pursue civil lawsuits against negligent companies and manufacturers, seeking to hold them accountable for their actions while also helping to implement important changes.