If you’ve ever worked in a job involving contact with asbestos, you need to read this. Asbestos exposure can cause serious health problems and even death. Knowing the facts about asbestos exposure is important to protect yourself and your family. The following is an outline of what you need to know about occupational asbestos exposure:
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used extensively in many industrial and commercial applications due to its unique properties. These properties include resistance to heat, chemical degradation, and electrical insulation. However, asbestos also has the potential to cause serious health problems if inhaled, which is why its use has been restricted in many countries.
What Are the Health Risks Associated With Occupational Asbestos Exposure?
Over the years, manufacturers have used asbestos in making electrical, textile products, pumps, and gaskets, among other products. Therefore, individuals working in these industries risk contracting mesothelioma. Occupational asbestos exposure has been linked to other serious health conditions, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause inflammation and scarring of the lungs, leading to difficulty breathing and other serious respiratory problems. Asbestos exposure contributes to an increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos exposure can lead to serious health conditions, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. In addition, it can lead to other health problems, such as pleural effusion and pleural plaques. According to researchers, asbestos is the primary cause of this cancer through inhalation, especially in people working in commercial, industrial, and household product manufacturers. Asbestos exposure also increases the risk of other cancers, such as ovarian, gastrointestinal, and laryngeal cancer.
Most people don’t know about the condition, and they confuse it with lung cancer. The truth is that mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops in the tissue lining the lungs, abdomen, or heart because of exposure to asbestos. It’s important to learn about the different types of asbestos to protect yourself from exposure better. There are two main types of asbestos, including amphibole and serpentine.
Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos exposure can occur in both indoor and outdoor settings. The most common symptom of asbestos exposure is a persistent, dry cough, although other symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
The first signs of health problems from asbestos exposure may not appear until years after the initial exposure. If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to see your doctor for regular checkups and to report any new or worsening symptoms.
Mesothelioma cancer doesn’t have a cure; it’s hard to treat once you’re diagnosed. The best way to avoid mesothelioma is to prevent exposure to asbestos in the first place. If you work in a high-risk occupation for asbestos exposure, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to protect yourself. However, affected individuals should take the following measures to improve their health:
- Checking their diet and making sure to get plenty of antioxidants.
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Reducing stress levels through relaxation techniques or therapy.
- Getting regular checkups and screenings, especially if they smoke cigarettes.
- Quitting smoking if they do smoke.
- Joining mesothelioma support groups or counseling services.
Occupational asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma cancer. If you work in a high-risk occupation for asbestos exposure, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to protect yourself. However, even if you’re not in a high-risk occupation, you can still do things to reduce your exposure risk. Here are some tips:
- If you work with asbestos, wear protective clothing and equipment.
- Avoid disturbing asbestos materials.
- Wet down asbestos materials before working with them.
- Don’t use power tools on asbestos materials.
- Dispose of asbestos waste properly.
- Have regular medical checkups, and tell your doctor if you’ve been exposed to asbestos.
- If you live near asbestos mines, factories, or power plants, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent asbestos fibers from coming into your home.
- Don’t use products that contain asbestos.
- If you’re renovating your home, hire a professional to remove any asbestos materials before you begin work.
The above information is everything you need to know about occupational asbestos exposure. Most people suffer due to a lack of knowledge; hence, spreading awareness is important. You must take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family. However, it’s not a death sentence, and with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, you can still enjoy a good quality of life.