Asbestos Related Diseases are a big concern to a lot of people, here we discuss relevant illnesses from asbestos contact. Asbestos is dangerous when its fibres are released. If these are inhaled, they can arrive at an appropriate length and thickness deep into the lungs and even penetrate into the adjacent tissue.
Asbestos is, however, extremely resistant: It dissolves in acids or alkalis to become practically non-existent. It only melts at very high temperatures.
Unfortunately, the body cannot biodegrade: The lung and surrounding tissues are generally unlikely to be able to reduce these fibres again or to excrete them. Therefore, asbestos becomes a cause of chronic inflammation. The tissue reacts with scarring. Here are the three main Asbestos related diseases associated with asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is acquired only by exposure to asbestos fibres. The disease destroys the mesothelium tissue. Severe respiratory complications are the first symptoms of the disease, as mesothelioma affects the membrane of the lung, breast, stomach and heart. So far there is no cure for this disease.
Asbestosis is a progressive disease of the lungs, which can sometimes lead to lung cancer. It primarily affects the alveoli, which are the primary gas exchange unit in our lungs. When a person inhales asbestos, some of the fibres settle in the alveolar walls, causing the formation of scar tissue. These scars make it difficult for oxygen to enter the blood and this causes its victims to produce shortness of breath or rattling in the lungs during inhalation. Extreme cases of asbestosis can sometimes lead to heart failure.
• Asbestos pleural disease
This happens when the pleural lining of the lung thickens in response to the presence of asbestos fibres in the lung. Pleural disease is similar to asbestosis, as it is caused by scar tissue – only this time, the affected part is the lining of the lungs. It generally takes ten years to detect this disease. A way to develop and effectively discover this is by CT and X-ray images of the chest. As with asbestosis, pleural disease causes shortness of breath and impaired lung function. There is also not an effective cure to this debilitating disease.
This is a worldwide problem that sometimes only manifests years after exposure and so education is key to understanding these effects. Knowing what asbestos is and how to deal with this issue could save lives. It is therefore crucial to contact your local council who will inform you as to the correct procedures to take in the work place. This will usually mean bringing in an asbestos specialist to inspect the area and ascertain the extent of removal work needed.