Developing mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos is a common concern among Washington and Oregon residents, particularly those who work in shipbuilding or other high-risk industries.
Most people are aware that one of the unique characteristics of mesothelioma is that it can develop due to an exposure to asbestos a long time ago. However, they may still question just how long ago after an initial exposure does it take?
Understanding the latency period
There is no exact answer to this question, but it can generally take between 20 to 50 years after the initial exposure to develop. This is referred to as the latency period. According to a study done in 2021, the median latency period is about 40 years.
Although it is possible for mesothelioma to develop in 15 years or less, it is unlikely, and in some cases 60 to 70 years have passed between exposure and a mesothelioma diagnosis. The time it takes for the cancer to develop depends on various factors.
Factors impacting the latency period
The latency period can also be impacted by the type of occupation and the specific job function within each occupation. Although more than 70 occupations have been identified as putting employees at risk for asbestos, industries commonly associated with asbestos exposure include the factory, insulation, shipyard, power plant and textile mill industries.
Do not wait to file a claim
Most people do not begin to suspect mesothelioma until they begin experiencing common symptoms, such as breathing difficulties or a constant cough. One diagnosed, it is important to act fast, because there is a 3-year statute of limitations for filing a claim. The 3-year time starts running from the time you know, or should have known, you have an asbestos related disease.
Filing a mesothelioma claim can be complex and challenging for someone who is already struggling with a cancer diagnosis. An experienced attorney who is ready to fight for your right to compensation can be a great help.