Between the years of 1999 and 2010, 6,300 Americans lost their lives to asbestosis, which is only one of the health effects and diseases that occurs because of too much asbestos exposure.
But what is asbestos and why is it dangerous? Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral. It’s woven into fabrics and other materials for either heat-resistant or insulating purposes.
While it offers many benefits, asbestos is a carcinogen. Too much exposure can cause serious side effects. Unfortunately, most people catch these ailments when it’s too late. Here are the 5 most common asbestos health risks you should know.
Know These Asbestos Health Risks Before They Develop
Many asbestos-related ailments take years to develop. It’s best you know these ailments ahead of time, especially if you commonly expose yourself to asbestos.
This ailment was already mentioned. But what is it?
Asbestosis is inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue caused by too much asbestos inhalation. In other words, with asbestosis, your lungs can’t expand and relax as they normally would.
Asbestos is most famous for causing a myriad of cancers. This includes:
- Ovarian Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Laryngeal Cancer
Some cancers are rare, such as Mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. Others are more common, such as lung cancer.
3. Pleural Effusion
Pleural Effusion is a buildup of fluids in the lungs. This makes it difficult to breathe. There are many different factors that cause pleural effusion.
Fortunately, a doctor can drain the fluid in the lungs. But you’ll also have to limit your asbestos exposure in order to prevent more fluid buildup.
4. Pleural Plaques
Pleural Plaques are the most common asbestos exposure side effect. This is a thickening of the lung lining. However, these plaques don’t become apparent until up to 20 years after exposure.
5. Diffuse Pleural Thickening
Diffuse Pleural Thickening is another condition that thickens the pleural lining in the lungs. But this is more severe, causing chest pain and even breathing issues.
How to Limit Your Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos exposure can be as simple as causing chest pain to as severe as forming cancer. To ensure you don’t develop these ailments, limit your asbestos exposure.
Don’t use any heat-resistant or insulation products that contain asbestos. If you work in an industry where workers are exposed to asbestos, contact a firm such as the NSUK for an asbestos survey and asbestos testing.
Protect Yourself From Asbestos
Asbestos is a known carcinogen but is still found in many personal, residential, and commercial products. Ingesting and inhaling too much asbestos can cause many asbestos health risks.
These vary between fluid buildup in the lungs to rare cancers such as Mesothelioma. While many of these ailments can easily be treated and avoided, other ailments, such as asbestosis and cancer, can turn out to be fatal.
If you suspect you have one of these health ailments, see a doctor. Otherwise, try and limit your asbestos exposure to ensure you don’t develop these harmful health effects.