In the world of public health, asbestos has been a major talking point for decades. It’s not new information that asbestos is bad for human health, as we have known for some time that exposure to asbestos can cause dramatic, life-changing harm. Unfortunately, countless individuals and their families have experienced this harm, and the damage is far from done. 

Even if everyone involved is well-intentioned and no one is trying to promote a conspiracy theory, it’s still possible for misinformation to circulate. 

Against that backdrop, let’s take a closer look at some of the myths out there related specifically to asbestos exposure and cancer. 

Health organizations long ago established that no level of asbestos exposure is safe. This means, while working with the mineral day in and day out or living with individuals who do will, of course, up a person’s chances of developing an asbestos-related condition, a single instance of exposure can also lead to health complications. One can no longer assume that they don’t have to worry if they’ve only been exposed once or twice. 

Related to this is the myth that you have to be directly exposed to develop cancer or other disease. Spouses, children, and other loved ones who share space with those who come into contact with asbestos on the job are also at significant risk. This is because fibers are commonly carried home on clothing, work tools, skin, in hair, and in family vehicles, leading to family members being exposed secondhand

Nearly every building constructed before the 1980s contained asbestos products and building materials, and unfortunately many still do.

Moreover, asbestos is still found in older structures where it was used extensively for many years. This means, homeowners living in homes built prior to the 1980s could have asbestos present in their walls, floorboards, ceilings, roofing shingles, insulation and more. The same goes for office workers, students, and other unsuspecting populations who don’t work directly with asbestos. Even if individuals believe they may have been exposed briefly, they could actually be in constant contact with asbestos fibers. 

Myth #2 – Some Types of Asbestos Are Safe and Will Not Cause Cancer

There are various types of asbestos that are naturally occurring in the earth, and manufacturing companies have used these variants in specific applications over the years, aiming to benefit from the particular strengths of one type over the others to produce the best possible product. 

Somewhere along the way, a myth started to develop that some types of asbestos are actually safe for humans, and it’s only particular types that cause health concerns. This is simply not true. It has been proven that the ingestion of all types of asbestos can be deadly and can lead to the development of many different forms of cancer. 

There is a long latency period between the time of exposure and the onset of illness in most cases, so some people fail to draw the connection between their previous exposure and the illness they are now experiencing. 

Even if it has been decades, however, the connection still exists, and it exists regardless of what type is responsible. 

One of the biggest difficulties when it comes to asbestos exposure is that the person exposed doesn’t notice anything when it initially happens. There is no smell associated with asbestos, nor is there a taste, and it’s impossible to notice the microscopic fibers floating around in the air. 

So, it is breathed in without the individual being any the wiser. This aids in myth creation as it’s often difficult to make a direct connection between a specific exposure instance and subsequent health complications. 

Moreover, asbestos not only causes mesothelioma, a cancer linked only to exposure cases, but it can cause ovarian, kidney, lung, stomach and many cancers that have also been linked to other genetic and lifestyle factors. This can make it difficult to determine whether asbestos or some other risk factor is to blame. 

Myth #3 – Asbestos Has Already Been Banned

It is tempting to think that asbestos is simply a problem of the past. Given that it is now common knowledge that asbestos exposure is harmful, it only makes sense that modern laws have likely been successful in banning its use. Sadly, that’s simply not the case, and asbestos is still in use today, both in the United States and in many other areas around the world. While regulations have significantly restricted where and how it is used in most cases, to think that it has been banned entirely would be a mistake. 

The good news is that asbestos is no longer mined in the United States, so removing the risk from miners who were exposed to it at the source has been a step in the right direction. 

However, it is still imported and used in some products. Most commonly, it is found in some construction materials, where it is still prized for its impressive durability and resistance to heat. 

The workers who deal with asbestos as part of their jobs are far more protected than they were decades ago, but there is still some degree of inherent risk when working around a material that can be so harmful to human health.

There are ongoing attempts to get asbestos banned throughout the U.S., but a full 

Plenty of legal efforts have been made to do so, but they have come up short amid strong opposition. Well over 50 countries around the world have been successful in banning asbestos use entirely, and with any luck, the United States will add its name to that list sooner rather than later. 

Myth #4 – Asbestos is No Longer a Problem

This next myth goes right along with the last one. Many people believe that asbestos is banned entirely, and even if aware that’s not true, they might be tempted to believe that it just isn’t a problem in the modern world. Given the restrictions that are in place regarding how it is used, and the fact that it’s not mined in the U.S., it would seem reasonable to conclude that asbestos just isn’t a big problem these days. 

Again, this is unfortunately not in line with reality. Asbestos absolutely remains a problem, although it is safe to say that it does not pose the same threat that it would have a few decades ago. Far fewer people have the potential to be exposed to asbestos while at work, which is great news, but as mentioned above, millions of individuals still live and work in buildings that have plenty of asbestos-containing materials hiding in plain sight. In fact, recent data reveals there are still as many as 255,000 deaths annually from asbestos exposure, many of which are attributable to asbestos-induced cancers. 

If living in a home built prior to the large-scale asbestos ban in the 1980s and planning a renovation or remodeling project, it is vital that homeowners work with licensed asbestos abatement contractors to identify the presence of any ACMs and ensure proper removal, if necessary. 

Myth #5 – There is No Money Left for Asbestos Cases

With so many people having already been paid as a result of asbestos lawsuits and claims, aren’t the companies who are on the losing end of these lawsuits out of funds? Not at all. Asbestos trusts continue to hold huge sums of money that are waiting to be paid out to individuals who are able to successfully file a claim with the evidence to back it up. 

The money that is held in these trusts is a great reason to strongly consider going with an asbestos trust claim instead of filing a traditional lawsuit when it comes to seeking damages. 

Filing a lawsuit is a notoriously stressful and time-consuming process, and while it can lead to valuable judgment at the end, time is typically of the essence after a cancer diagnosis or when living with another life-threatening condition. But asbestos trusts do not require a lawsuit.

These trusts are already holding money that is waiting to be paid out to people who qualify. By working with an experienced attorney who understands how the process works and what information is needed along the way, a claimant can position themselves for success. 

Myth #6 – If You Didn’t Work with Asbestos, You Can’t Get Money

Again, the people who were the most at-risk with regards to asbestos were those who worked directly around this mineral for years. This includes individuals in the military as asbestos was prominent in military artillery, navy ships, and in other vessels used in combat. These individuals were likely to be exposed to it directly, inhaling it throughout the day, and winding up with a significant volume of fibers in their lungs that could cause harm down the road. 

People exposed at work or military service had the most xposure. But that doesn’t mean everyone else is safe. 

People who didn’t work directly with asbestos could have been harmed, and those individuals may be eligible for compensation, as well. Secondhand exposure to asbestos is a real concern, and there is compensation available to anyone who was indirectly exposed and can prove their case. 

Myth #7 – If You Smoked, Compensation is Not Available

It’s common knowledge that smoking can cause lung cancer. In fact, that is one of the most serious health issues that is likely to arise as a result of smoking and is a great reason to avoid cigarettes. With that said, smoking cigarettes is not the only thing that can cause lung cancer, as exposure to asbestos can do the same thing. 

There seems to be a line of thinking among some people that those who smoked in the past may not be able to file a successful asbestos claim because the smoking will be blamed for their illness. That’s not always the case. 

Asbestos exposure increases lung cancer risk by 5%. Smoking increases lung cancer risk by 10%. 

But together, asbestos and smoking raise lung cancer risk by 50%.

A history of smoking, while it may not have had a positive impact on your health, does not exclude a person from securing damages. As long as a case can be presented that the claimant was also a victim of the companies that recklessly used asbestos in the past, they can still receive a payout. 

While everyone who is seeking asbestos damages should be working with a qualified attorney, that element is probably even more important for those who have smoked. 

It will be important to build a strong case and present all of the information clearly and accurately. An experienced lawyer is going to be able to do that job properly. And, since the asbestos lawyers at will take on a case on a contingency basis, victims won’t have to spend any money upfront to get the representation they need. 

Get Started Today

If you or a loved one has been impacted by the incredibly harmful nature of asbestos, resulting in a cancer diagnosis or other health complications, you don’t need to become an expert on the topic in order to pursue compensation. Working with an experienced asbestos attorney will allow you to seek damages in a manner that is appropriate for your situation. These attorneys can also further debunk any myths you may have heard. Call the team at today for a free consultation.