Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Evidence is challenging in Pittsburgh asbestos-lung cancer cases

The respiratory systems of Pittsburgh residents are exposed constantly to a host of natural and man-made gases, pollution and allergens. People in Allegheny County also breathe asbestos fibers. Everyone does, according to the federal government's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which claims low-level asbestos exposure is common.

Your chances of breathing a dangerous amount of the mineral fibers may depend on where you live or work. Neighbors of companies that make, use or store asbestos products have developed deadly asbestos-related diseases. Family members of workers in asbestos plants have also become ill by inhaling fibers attached to loved ones' clothing.

A third-party asbestos exposure claim was filed by a lawmaker in a neighboring state. A congresswoman, a lung cancer sufferer, named over 70 businesses in the complaint. She claimed the companies, like the one where her father and siblings were employed as boilermakers, hid asbestos health information from workers and their families.

The 69-year-old representative is a long-time smoker, who doesn't discount a smoking habit contributed to her cancer. Cigarettes have a cancer link; so does asbestos. The woman stated she was unaware that washing clothes worn by her father and brothers in her youth posed a serious health risk.

Many studies have shown smokers develop lung cancer faster than non-smokers. Other reports concluded smokers who also inhaled excessive amounts of asbestos fibers developed lung cancer at least 4,000 times faster than other smokers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported employees working in particular occupations have or had hazardous levels of asbestos exposure. Among the long list of work environments are construction, mining, shipyards, factories, railroads, power plants and steel mills.

It has been difficult traditionally for plaintiffs with lung cancer to prove their disease was related to asbestos and not some other influence. Advances in technology and genetic testing have increased chances science can help provide a definitive link.

Source:, "Rep. McCarthy sues alleging asbestos link to cancer" Kevin Deutsch, Nov. 09, 2013

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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