Finding asbestos in a home or commercial property can be alarming. Without fully understanding the dangers of asbestos can cause the most concern. The major concern for anyone who may have asbestos in their home are the health issues that are directly caused. Asbestos fibers can very easily become air borne, which creates a risk of serious illness if proper precaution and industry guidelines are not followed. Should there be any known materials that contain asbestos, it must be removed and handled by professionals before disturbing it, removing it, or cutting it.
There are three main known illnesses when asbestos is inhaled.
Asbestosis is an advanced and long term disease of the lungs, however it does not cause cancer. When the fibres are inhaled, then the tissues of the lung become inflamed and irritated which causes scaring. This causes breathing difficulties and low amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through. This is commonly a slow development and can usually start showing after 10-20 years. The symptoms can vary and can range from minor cough to nearly disabling and practically fatal. The most common symptoms are; shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, chest pain, and a loss of appetite. There are many other health issues that arise from asbestosis that are not cancerous but can be primarily found in the lining of the chest.
A significant percentage of asbestos workers have had or have pleural abnormalities. These are also common in family members of the worker as it may spread. It’s assumed that the exposure is carried home on the workers clothing or any other material that can brought home from the job site.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, which direct causes and affects the chest lining and the outer layer of the lungs. Nearly every case of mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. This cancer can be deadly, as it lines the lungs, abdominals and heart cavities. In the 70’s and 80’s, the understanding of asbestos and its danger were not as known. Many workers, who have been exposed to asbestos, are unaware (at that time) of its deadliness. Mesothelioma generally begins to show symptoms 30-40 years after initial exposure. Many family members and household members are observed to ensure there hasn’t been exposure if someone has been in contact with asbestos
Lung cancer is a tumor that impedes air passage through the lungs. It can be commonly caused by smoking cigarettes, as well as breathing in asbestos fibres. The symptoms typically include Smoking cigarettes can greatly increase the chance of a person developing lung cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing, weight loss, coughing up blood, and wheezing, chest pain anemia and shortness of breath. Lung cancer, can take 20-30 years of exposure before the symptoms are identified. The chances of getting lung cancer from asbestos can vary on numerous factors such as, the level and length of exposure, the time since exposure, the type and size of asbestos fibers, and if the person has had any smoking history.