A deeper learning on what is asbestos will give you the edge on knowing the risks of exposure to it. When people hear of the word “asbestos” some 50 years ago, it was associated with construction or constructing materials. It has extreme tensile strength and great heat resistance that makes it a sought-after material adaptable for almost any industrial projects. But today, when one talks about “asbestos,” it is equated to cancer. Since the early 70’s, there have been government regulations banning the use of asbestos in construction industries due to its cancer contributing factor.
It is vital to note that there are different types of asbestos and not all asbestos exposure situations are cancerous. These elements differ in shapes, sizes, and even chemical compositions of its fibers. Long and thin fibers are inhaled by the lungs and may cause detrimental effects on your health. Wider and shorter particles however may be less risky but still, it has negative consequences on the body.
For the benefit of those who are not familiar of what is asbestos, these are tiny particles of fibrous materials which have been banned since 1989 by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is dangerous. It is deadly.
Asbestos Exposure Effects
It is a proven fact that exposure can lead to serious health problems primarily affecting the lungs. Results may vary depending on the severity of the exposure. One common diagnosis is Asbestosis, or the typical scarring of the lungs. It is usually caused by breathing in of the fibers asbestos, making a person catch his breath and literally has difficulty breathing.
For many people who know of the hazards this element rings, inhalation of asbestos is being associated with lung cancer. Those who are directly exposed to this element are at a high risk to develop lung cancer, more like that of a smoker’s cancer. (However, both smokers and non-smokers can equally be at risk to have tumors or small cell and non-small cell carcinomas if they are in contact with asbestos.)
Another health risk derived from asbestos is mesothelioma. What is asbestos targeting in the body with a mesothelioma condition? This aggressive type of cancer slowly destroys the mesothelium, or the membrane that lines the body cavity.
People at Risk of Asbestos Exposure
These workers (enumerated below) and their families are not free of asbestos exposure. They are all unsuspecting and helpless since the fibers may be passed on and inhaled by them. These elements stick on work clothes or uniforms.
- Construction workers
- Installation manufacturers/installers
- Demolition workers
- Shipyard workers
- Automotive workers (especially assigned in clutches and brake linings)
- Railroad workers
- Gasmask manufacturers
Proper precaution is imperative since there are strict regulations that ban the use of asbestos. But the problem remains; there are still some old buildings and constructions in existence that uses this element. When these old structures undergo renovations, remodeling or even demolition, people doing the job may be at risk as soon as asbestos fibers are released and floating in the air.
An asbestos-related illness is a serious thing. It must not be just shrugged off. If you think that you or your loved ones may be at risk of asbestos exposure, immediately consult a doctor and make necessary actions for preventive steps.