The Different Types of Pleural Disorders

The pleura provides protection for your outer lungs and chest cavity. This membrane is made up of two thin sheets of large body tissue that wrap around both the chest cavity and outer lungs. In between the body tissue sheets is the pleural space, which is full of fluid and allows the two pleural layers to glide past one another in order for the safe breathing of air both in and out of the lungs. When asbestos containing materials and/or fibers are inhaled, the asbestos can attack the pleural region causing a variety of pleura disorders.

Pleurisy

Pleurisy is caused when the pleural’s two tissue sheets are inflamed and/or irritated. Because of the inflammation, the two tissue sheets that should smoothly glide past one another instead rub up against one another, causing extreme pain whenever a person breathes in. Pleurisy is considered to be a collection of symptoms, as opposed to being its own distinct disease. Thus, as long as the health condition causing the pleurisy is not that serious and is diagnosed and treated early, full recovery is likely. The main symptom of pleurisy is a sharp chest pain that increases upon deep breathing, coughing or sneezing. Pleurisy is not just the result of asbestos exposure. It can also be caused by viral infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, chest trauma or lupus.

Pneumothorax

Pneumothorax is caused when a lung injury or disease results in the pleural space having an excess gas or air buildup. This buildup can cause a lung to collapse due to the excess pressure. Pneumothorax in certain situations presents itself as an indication that malignant pleural mesothelioma is present. Typical symptoms of pneumothorax include shortness of breath, and intense, sudden pain on at least one side of a lung.

Pleural disorders Effusions

Typically there are 4 teaspoons of fluid in the pleural space, which allows the two tissue sheets to smoothly glide past one another. However, when a pleural effusion occurs there is an excessive fluid build-up, which forces the pleura to push up against the lung. This can result in a partial or complete lung collapse, which can cause extreme difficulties with breathing. Empyema can occur when this excess fluid becomes infected and creates an abscess in the pleural space. Pleural effusions can be caused by asbestos-exposure related illnesses, pneumonia, cancer or congestive heart failure.

Hemothorax

Hemothorax results in extreme blood build-up within the pleural space. Pleural cancer or lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure can result in hemothorax. However, it can also be caused by a heart/chest surgery or an extreme injury to the chest/lung region. In addition to causing a chest collapse, hemothorax can also result in shock. This shock is the result of a lack of oxygen and blood reaching vital organs such as the heart, due to the blood build-up in the pleural space.
Concerned that you may be suffering from a lung condition due to past asbestos exposure? Contact an asbestos exposure attorney today.

The World Trade Center and Asbestos-Exposure Claims

On September 11, 2001 The World Trade Center (“WTC”) Towers in New York City were attacked by terrorists. Years after these attacks, health threats now loom for both first responders and people who lived or worked nearby the Ground-Zero site. This is because the destruction of the Towers caused what environmental and medical experts believe was New York City’s worst and biggest environmental disaster in history. Only four towers remained following the attack, and three of these were demolished because they were too damaged to salvage. Both the initial destruction of the towers by the attacks, and subsequent demolition of the remaining towers resulted in extremely toxic substances, including asbestos, being released into the air. Though mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases take years to arise, the risk for asbestos exposure related illnesses is still extremely high. In fact recently, an EMT who worked at the Ground Zero site has already been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

The Causes of Asbestos Exposure at the WTC

Following the terrorist attacks, thick clouds of smoke migrated through the air towards the nearby Brooklyn borough. Many people reported that the air was extremely thick with a soup-like consistency. A white-grey dust covered cars and other objects on the street. This toxic soup is believed to be the result of the release into the surrounding environment of around 2,500 separate and possible hazardous fibers, materials and particles. These released hazardous substances included lead, mercury, pulverized concrete, PCB’s and dioxins. Most importantly, potentially over 400 tons of asbestos containing fibers were released into the atmosphere via the subsequent fires, smoke plume and the collapsed towers.

The large amount of asbestos contained within the Towers was the result of the steel structures being sprayed with a half-inch of asbestos layer coating. This spray coating was only used up to the tower’s 40th floors; the rest of the towers were sprayed with a non-asbestos containing spray. However, it has been suggested that a significant portion of these asbestos fibers were removed from elevators and other areas prior to 9/11.

 

Hemothorax results in extreme blood build-up within the pleural space. Pleural cancer or lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure can result in hemothorax. However, it can also be caused by a heart/chest surgery or an extreme injury to the chest/lung region. In addition to causing a chest collapse, hemothorax can also result in shock. This shock is the result of a lack of oxygen and blood reaching vital organs such as the heart, due to the blood build-up in the pleural space.
Concerned that you may be suffering from a lung condition due to past asbestos exposure? Contact an asbestos exposure attorney today.

Mesothelioma?

Get Free Book on Mesothelioma *










One book per household. Must provide valid mailing address (no PO Boxes). Please allow 10-14 business days for delivery

We’re here to help answer your questions. Judicial matters can be complicated, our experts are on hand to help inform you of every aspect regarding your topic.