Many millions of homes across the United States contain the construction material, asbestos. This is because, the majority of the 20th century, asbestos was highly regarded for its fire-proofing qualities. Therefore the material can be found in the average American home: the walls, the roofs, chimneys, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, ducting and heating systems. When left undisturbed asbestos is perfectly safe and there is no need to be alarmed. However, if there is any damage or disturbance to asbestos, it can cause asbestos fibers to become airborne. These fibers may be come lodged within an individual’s lungs. Once lodged these hazardous fibers can cause a number of life-threatening illnesses. Such fibers are identified with difficulty as they do not show up in conventional x-rays. The dangers of asbestos have been known for a considerable period of time. However many manufacturers of construction materials and employers continued to expose homeowners and employees to the material. The illnesses that are most likely to affect those exposed to asbestos are asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These illnesses and, in particular, mesothelioma is life-threatening as they can take many years to diagnose. Diagnosis is only real possible once the symptoms become apparent. It is a feature of asbestos exposure that symptoms can take many years to manifest themselves. By the time symptoms do become apparent, it is often too late for the doctors to successfully treat the sufferer. That is not to say sufferers cannot be treated but treatment is difficult. If you or anyone you know have been exposed to asbestos, or have worked in the construction industry, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the person or party responsible for your exposure. A mesothelioma law firm will be able to help you in this case. Filing a lawsuit can be a technical exercise and therefore you should only consider appointing a firm of lawyers who have experience in bringing such cases. A court may award you compensation for the exposure, there could be an award of medical bills, as well as further treatment costs.