Asbestos Poisoning and Health Effects

Posted: 1st February 2014

Asbestos is a naturally fibrous mineral  that was typically used in buildings for fireproofing electrical insulation. Due to its strength, flexibility, fireproofing ability, and chemical resistance, asbestos has been widely used for  the construction of ceiling tiles, flooring,  pipes fencing and roofing sheets. It is  so common homeowners even used it  to build home sheds.

Despite its usability, the silicate-based construction material carries a great risk to human health. Immediate hazard can occur when asbestos-containing materials are damaged and disturbed. Asbestos tends to break up into very microscopic particles, about 1,200 times thinner than a single human hair. Thus, the particles can mix themselves into the air for days. Once inhaled, asbestos can result in disorders and diseases, which are generally called asbestos poisoning.

People who are usually exposed to asbestos are those working in asbestos mines, fabrication, and construction. They are more prone to asbestos poisoning. Now days, there are more cases brought about in the renovation and asbestos removal industry. Medical experts compare this to the hazards of cigarette smoking. The more cigarettes one smokes, the greater risk to getting lung cancer. And so the more asbestos fibres an individual inhales in his lifetime, the more danger there is to developing an asbestos-related disorder.

Diseases that occur due to asbestos exposure, if not treated as soon as possible, can result in multiple severe and even fatal health effects. The three major life-threatening diseases from asbestos poisoning are asbestosis, mesothelioma cancer, and lung cancer. 

Asbestosis results when tiny asbestos fibres enter and stay in the lungs. Even when the body tries to dissolve these fibres through secreting acids, these asbestos fibres still remain trapped in the lungs. The continual secretion of acids only leads to an adverse scarring of the lung tissues that can lead to pulmonary fibrosis.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the pleura, peritoneum, and pericardium parts of the lungs. Symptoms of this disease such as shortness of breath and chest pains may not show until 10 to 50 years after asbestos exposure. And by the time these symptoms are apparent, severe damage has already been done.

Lung cancer is another asbestos-related disease that includes a malignant tumour of the lungs. Ill effects of this cancer usually occur after 15 to 35 years since asbestos exposure and are greatly increased with smoking.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms of asbestos poisoning especially when you are working in industries that expose you to these minerals. And even if the symptoms of asbestos poisoning do not manifest at the moment, it is still highly recommended that you consult with a doctor regularly.

Do you fear of asbestos in your home? You can request for asbestos removal from professionals such as KBE Contracting. You can request a free quote from us, and let our professional asbestos removal team take care of your problem.