Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally in the ground. It has many positive characteristics that durability, resistance to heat and cloth-like qualities which have made this mineral very popular in many industries like construction and ship building. However, the fibers of asbestos are highly dangerous and those who exposed to asbestos face certain health risks.Asbestos Health Risks:
Although the use of asbestos is banned from 1989 in the United States, it is estimated that around 27 million were exposed to it before the ban came into action. In fact, asbestos is still used in the manufacturing of some products but it has to be mentioned on the ingredient label.
There are still many schools, offices and other buildings which contain asbestos, and that is why it is quite possible that people are still being exposed to it.
Asbestos health risks range from chronic to manageable to fatal conditions. However, one of the most dangerous asbestos health risks is mesothelioma. This usually occurs when asbestos particles are inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. Over a period of time, the cells due to asbestos particles and fibers become cancerous. Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer and can also affect the abdominal walls if the asbestos particles are swallowed. In most cases the cancer is fatal.
Other asbestos health risks are usually non-cancerous lung conditions like asbestosis. This is a chronic disease and the person suffers from shortness of breath and coughing. Asbestosis occurs in people who are exposed to high levels of asbestos and develops over a period of 15 years or more. It is slow progressing disease.
Lower levels of asbestos exposure lead to the development of pleural plaque, which is thickening of the pleural membrane of the lung. It can also result in fluid build up in the lungs, a condition known as pleural effusion.
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