The Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) in Libby, Montana, continues to screen new people exposed to asbestos from a now-shuttered vermiculite mine and continues to treat dozens of people for asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer.

“It’s a long-term issue,” says Brad Black, medical director at CARD. “Many people forget that diseases caused by asbestos may not show up for over 40 years and don’t understand the lag time between long-ago exposure and disease today. It’s something you always have to be aware of.”

The CARD Clinic evolved in response to widespread asbestos exposure in the Libby area due to the mine that resulted in a high number of lung abnormalities and the need for long-term pulmonary care in the community.

Asbestos is a fiber that was widely mined from the earth and used in a variety of materials from construction, shipbuilding, and friction products, to fire retardants. It has been known for decades that asbestos exposure can cause serious health problems including mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis (fibrosis of the lung tissue), colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and possibly other forms of cancer.

Asbestos has been banned in nearly 70 countries. The U.S. restricted its use in 1989, but it is still used on a limited basis. Despite its restrictions, asbestos continues to be a health risk to consumers.

“Thousands of homes and other buildings still have vermiculite insulation, trademarked as Zonolite, that is contaminated with asbestos. This poses a threat, not only to people who live and work in those structures but also to firefighters and construction crews. Modern vehicle brakes and some talc products can also contain trace amounts of asbestos, so anyone working with them can risk exposure,” CARD cautions. “Current guidelines and statutes protecting these individuals from exposure are nowhere near comprehensive.”

Mesothelioma litigation

Beasley Allen lawyers handle mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma. Charlie Stern in our Toxic Torts Section is the lead attorney working on these types of cases. As an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, Charlie is well equipped to tackle asbestos cases, which are highly complicated and require someone with a true understanding of the facts, medical issues, science and law. Contact us for more information.

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