Asbestos: Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

Asbestos causes asbestosis and mesothelioma

When inhaled, tiny asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis or mesothelioma. Hundreds of Minnesotans have been diagnosed with these debilitating illnesses. The Zimmerman Firm is here to help.

Asbestos fibers

Microscopic asbestos fibers

Asbestos was used in industrial, residential, and other settings for many years. It’s use declined as it became clear that it was dangerous.  But it is still in limited use today. First, employees who worked in some facilities may have been exposed to asbestos dust. Next, their spouses who handled dusty clothes may also have been exposed. Even people who just lived near the facilities may have been exposed.


According to the Mayo Clinic, asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Prolonged exposure can cause lung tissue scaring. But the symptoms may not appear for many years or even decades after exposure. It can limit lung function and cause breathing problems.


Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer of the thin membrane of lubricating cells that lines the lungs.

Mesothelioma sometimes takes decades to show up. But once the cancer starts, it is often fast moving. For many people, mesothelioma is not curable.

Common Uses

Asbestos was commonly used in these and many other common products:

  • Gaskets.
  • Electrical panels.
  • Fire proofing materials.
  • Fume and Lab Hoods.
  • Adhesives.
  • Mastics.
  • Ductwork and Flexible Duct Connectors.
  • Flooring.
  • Pipe Insulation.
  • Vermiculite/Zonolite Insulation.
  • Brake pads.
  • Automobile clutches.
  • Automobile hood liners.
  • Roofing tiles.
  • Ceiling tiles.
  • Cement.

Workers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure

Many workers are at risk of exposure, including:

  • Auto and other Mechanics.
  • Boilermakers.
  • Brick and Stone Masons.
  • Carpenters.
  • Electricians.
  • Furnace/Smelter Operations and Maintenance.
  • HVAC workers.
  • Industrial Plant Workers.
  • Insulators.
  • Iron Workers.
  • Oil Refinery Workers.
  • Pipefitters.
  • Plumbers.
  • Power Plant Workers.
  • Railroad Workers.
  • Sailors.
  • Shipyard Workers.
  • Steamfitters.
  • Tile Setters.
  • Welders.

Many of these workers were exposed.  But few of them knew about the risk. Because asbestosis and mesothelioma can take so long to show symptoms, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the exposure source.

According to a detailed Minnesota study, more than 100 miners in the Mesabi Iron Range have been stricken with mesothelioma. The study suggests it was likely as a result of exposure during taconite mining or processing.

If you have asbestosis or mesothelioma

It is important to talk to a lawyer right away if you or a family member have asbestosis or mesothelioma. The Zimmerman Firm and our network of experienced contacts know how to handle your asbestosis or mesothelioma case efficiently, effectively, and respectfully.

The Zimmerman Firm never recovers any fees or costs unless you recover. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Asbestos Exposure Sites

Check out this page to learn more about major potential asbestos exposure sites in Minnesota.