Exposure to asbestos can increase the risks for some illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. People in certain occupations may have had more exposure to asbestos products. Family members may also have been exposed.
Asbestos after the first quarter of the 20th century has been identified as a carcinogenic substance by World Health Organization and International Asbestos in the list of “Carcinogenic Substances”. Asbestos can cause different cancers and various diseases.
Asbestos have different ways to exposure to people.
1- Asbestos penetration into the body through skin contact: Asbestos contact with skin less dangerous than digestion and respiration.
2- Asbestos penetration through the digestive tract: Through digestion, asbestos dust entering our body by inhalation less harmful to our body. Because after certain stages its thrown from the body.
3- Through the inhalation of asbestos: Inhalation of asbestos fibers to the lung the normal tissues are damaged by over time and causes the deadly cancers mesothelioma. It is difficult to destroy by the immune system. In this case, lung diseases causes
Asbestos Related Diseases And Symptoms
The symptoms of the disease occur after 20 years of asbestos exposure. Asbestosis disease sneaks into the body and causes shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. It progresses to bronchial cancer.
For lung cancer to occur, the person must either be smoking or exposed to asbestos. In addition, these two effect factors together increases the likelihood of having lung cancer.
Mesothelioma disease begins with the commercial use of asbestos. Apart from substances that cause lung cancer, such as smoking, this case of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs is a disease that occurs in serosal connections. There are no symptoms and it starts with shortness of breath and chest pain.
Pleural Lesions (benign)
Pleural lesions and pleural thickening occurs if the person exposure to asbestos. The asbestos fibers are invisible to the eye because the dimensions of the fibers are 3-20 microns in length and as thin as 0.01 microns. Asbestos fibers the smaller the exposure is higher exposure by inhalation and become more dangerous. The reason is asbestos fibers in the lung can not be removed. Picture below shows settled asbestos fiber particles in lung.
It’s wise to be alert to the dangers of asbestos exposure and it is understandable to worry if you discover you have been exposed to asbestos. But it is also important to discern between different degrees of asbestos exposure.
How Much Asbestos Exposure Is Harmful?
No amount of asbestos exposure is considered to be safe and people should always take precaution to avoid inhaling asbestos fibers.
Most asbestos related diseases arise only after many years of regular exposure. An extremely intense short-term exposure also heightens the risk of disease later in life.
For example, a history of working with insulation products in the 1950s or 1960s is a major risk factor. Even if the work involved only a little exposure at a time, a few months of this would add up to a lot of inhaled asbestos fibers.
Family members are also experienced asbestos exposure from workers whose bringing asbestos dust home on their clothes. This is called second hand asbestos exposure and it has been linked to many tragic deaths as well.
Even asbestos is regulated in some countries, these types of long-term exposure will still become a problem. Because asbestos related diseases usually take decades to develop and new cases will continue to surface because of routine asbestos exposure long time a go.
How Bad Is One Time Exposure to Asbestos?
One time asbestos exposure generally is not a serious risk, except in extreme circumstances where toxic asbestos fibers in the air. Asbestos related diseases are usually diagnosed by months or years after exposure.
If you were exposed to asbestos for one day, the risk to your health depends on how much asbestos fibers you inhaled.
- Was the asbestos-containing product damaged or crumbly?
- Was it scraped, smashed, drilled or sawed?
- Was the area poorly ventilated?
If the answer is yes and you did not take safety precautions then you likely inhaled a substantial amount of asbestos fibers.
Don’t panic. Asbestos exposure will not have any immediate impact on your health. If it ever affects you it will take years for symptoms to arise. Make sure your doctors are aware of this asbestos exposure so it is recorded in your medical history. Be sure to avoid any further asbestos exposure in the future.
It’s not uncommon for home owners to do a renovation and then realize afterward that they disturbed asbestos products. Fortunately, the risk from this is low.
In many places there are already trace amounts of asbestos in the air. In the countryside it comes from the erosion of rock formations. In urban areas it comes from ongoing demolition and construction work happening all around.
People rarely get sick from light occasional asbestos exposure. Being careless about one renovation will not significantly increase your risk but you must learn from the experience and avoid making the same mistakes again.