Introduction to Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is generally a bunch of minerals that exist naturally as a pack of fibers that can be detached into delicate, enduring threads for use in commercial and industrial applications. Asbestos is immune to heat, fire, and chemicals.
Due to such diverse qualities, asbestos is widely used in construction. For these advantages, asbestos has been used widely in numerous industries. IT can be either friable or non-friable.
There is no doubt about the benefits of asbestos but besides these benefits, it is among the main and fatal airborne contaminants found on Earth.
Health effects on human beings from long-term unsafe asbestos disclosure are well reported. People may be exposed to asbestos in their offices, their neighborhoods, or their residences.
Asbestos is harmless as long as it remains intact but once products containing asbestos are disturbed, microscopic asbestos fibers start to crumble and are released into the air. That is why Asbestos Testing is essential if you feel you might have been exposed to its fibers.
These fibers may get tangled in the lungs and remain there for a long time when inhaled. Over time, the fibers accumulate and cause inflammation of the airways which can lead to a multitude of health risks.
The risk of asbestos-associated disease depends on many factors:
- The proportion of asbestos present in the air
- Duration of asbestos exposure
- How much time has passed since exposure started
- Lung condition of a person
- Tobacco smoking.
Not everyone exposed to asbestos will show symptoms. Many people inhale fibers of asbestos but they remain normal. People who are at high risk of asbestos-associated health issues are:
- Those who are exposed to high concentrations of asbestos
- Those who are exposed for longer periods of time.
- Those who are exposed to asbestos more frequently.
Asbestos has been evaluated as a human carcinogen by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, U.S Environmental Protection Agency, and International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Asbestos fibers are microscopic and cannot be seen from the human eye so anybody can breathe or consume them without even realizing it. It can act as a quiet killer that’s why one must take significant steps to eliminate it from the area.
Asbestos fibers are very hard to destroy that’s why the body cannot break them down or discard them, once they are lodged in lungs or body tissues.
They remain in the lower part of the lungs where they can cause some serious health conditions. These are crucial health conditions associated with asbestos exposure
- Lung Cancer
- Pleural disorders including pleural plaques and pleural thickening.
- Limited evidence on the increasing risk of stomach and pharynx cancer.
Preventions and Precautions:
Upon the emergence of even minute symptoms, you should see a health care professional. And should strictly follow the preventive care guidelines related to asbestos exposure which are as follows:
- Patients should have regular medical check-ups.
- Vaccinations against flu and pneumococcal pneumonia.
- Smoking cessation.
- Avoiding asbestos exposure.
- Keep kids away from the possible contaminated area.
- Limit your activities in that area.
- Call a certified asbestos removal team.