The Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos

Everyone is aware of asbestos, as a material, yet only a few are aware of the detrimental health infringements that exposure to asbestos can cause. Should you come into prolonged contact with asbestos, the effects on your health and well-being can be seriously impeded. Of course, if you are ever in contact with asbestos, it is always best to call an expert for it be removed, particularly in domestic properties. The health implications of exposure to asbestos are quite severe. Please be aware that this article acts as  guide only and should not be used in place of medical attention.

Quite alarmingly, many people are subjected and exposed to asbestos without their knowledge. It was used relatively widely from the 1950s in domestic and commercial buildings, meaning it can be in both your home and workplace. Of course, as long as the asbestos fibres remain undisturbed they remain harmless. However, once they have been disturbed they have the potential to be very harmful.

 Asbestos fibres are generally inhaled, as they are so small. Inhalation of asbestos is unavoidable, should you be subjected to it on a daily basis. As the asbestos fibres are inhaled, they are then trapped in the lungs, without being able to escape. The fibres are then suitable settled in the lungs for a long period of time. Due to the nature of the material, asbestos fibres can then accumulate over a long period of time causing inflammation of the lungs and potential scarring. As with any fibres that get trapped in the lungs, this can lead to serious health problems, as well as issues relating to breathing.

 As a result of this, asbestos has been classified as a human carcinogen, which in layman’s terms, means it is classified as cancerous. Unfortunately, as a result of this, this means that illnesses that can be caused by asbestos are largely cancers. Lung cancer is prevalent in those that have been exposed to asbestos for a long period of time. Sadly, this can take years to develop as the asbestos lies dormant in an individual’s body. Should you have been exposed to asbestos and it was not your fault, you can seek the advice of an asbestos attorney for advice on how to pursue the matter further.

 Other illnesses that can develop as a result of exposure to asbestos include mesothelioma. This is a rare type of cancer, and unfortunately, is more common in individuals that have been exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a cancer that infiltrates the lungs and chest cavity, making it difficult for an individual to breath and can ultimately lead to death if left untreated.

The symptoms of mesothelioma are as follows:

  • Pain in the lower back or the side of the chest

  • Shortness of breath

  • Sweating and high temperatures

  • A persistent cough

  • Losing more than 10% of your weight when not dieting

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • A hoarse or husky voice

 If you are showing any symptoms of this nature, and you have been exposed to asbestos, then seek medical advice immediately and do not be alarmed.

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Photo Credit: Jasleen Kaur