Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma: What is the Difference?

California-Asbestosis vs MesotheliomaAccording to The Mesothelioma Center, California has the most asbestos-related fatalities in the U.S. as well as some of the largest asbestos deposits in the world. Numerous geological areas and work sites have presented hazards for residents and employees alike. Between 1999 and 2010, this led to thousands of mesothelioma diagnoses – a deadly cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos.

Naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) has posed a serious problem in California, and 45 of California’s 58 counties have NOA deposits, according to the California Department of Public Health. Coalinga received Superfund status because processing and mining spread the county’s NOA throughout the town, and this matter was worsened by the asbestos mines that were in operation in the 1960s and 1970s.

These factors represent a large degree of asbestos exposure in the state, which has ultimately led to the filing of lawsuits on behalf of residents and workers who have developed life-threatening cancers and diseases allegedly due to asbestos exposure. In 2004, a San Francisco Superior Court judge stated that asbestos lawsuit claims made up 25 percent of the court’s docket.

If you would like to learn more about asbestosis vs. mesothelioma lawsuits or want to determine whether you have a case after being diagnosed with one of the conditions after repeated exposure to the mineral, contact Attorney Group for California.

Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma

From 1999 to 2010, 2,977 deaths occurred due to mesothelioma, and 427 people died as a result of asbestosis. Although many feel as though these two conditions are interchangeable as they both develop following exposure to the mineral and cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, dry cough, chest pain and difficulty breathing, there are several key differences between asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma develops after the mineral’s fibers find their way into the linings of the lungs after repeated exposure. While asbestosis is a chronic lung condition and is not cancerous, several medical experts acknowledge that the condition can increase the likelihood of developing mesothelioma in the future. Additionally, mesothelioma can occur in the heart, testicles and other organs whereas asbestosis typically develops in only the lungs.

The following environmental areas and worksites once were or are currently considered to be a problematic source of exposure in the state. The federal government, the state of California, the Environmental Protection Agency and other responsible organizations have taken measures to remediate the contamination, some of which are complete and some of which are ongoing:

  • Hunters Point Naval Shipyard (southeastern San Francisco)
  • Former California Zonolite/W.R. Grace & Co. site (Glendale)
  • Coalinga and its mines
  • Clear Creek Management Area (Fresno and San Benito)
  • El Dorado Hills

Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma Litigation

With so many naturally-occurring deposits in the state, it is no surprise that California has become a prime area for asbestos litigation. A significant portion of these claims have centered around Hunters Point, as quite a few Navy veterans that primarily worked there have developed mesothelioma. Plaintiffs may consider filing asbestos lawsuits against their employers or other responsible parties if they believe that they developed a condition or cancer after not receiving adequate information about the risks and dangers pertaining to exposure to the mineral.

Injured? Contact Us to Discuss Your Rights

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis and you wish to learn more about your legal rights? Attorney Group for California provides free case evaluations to those who may be able to recover damages for their injuries. We can help answer your questions regarding asbestosis vs. mesothelioma claims and connect you with an affiliated attorney who can work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.