Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was used extensively until the 1980s. However, though its use has subsided quite a bit, it doesn’t mean it has been abandoned completely. It still exists in some building materials and can have significant side effects if you have been exposed to it.
In case of exposure, you must know what signs to look out for to act immediately.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral made of very small but fibrous crystals giving it great strength, durability, and even fire resistance. It was used extensively in the 20th century in building materials, including shipbuilding materials. For example, there was significant asbestos exposure at Boston Navy Yard in Massachusetts.
What Are Some Health Hazards?
Exposure to asbestos can have significant health impacts and, in some cases, even fatal health problems. Some of the health problems include lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. The priority issue with these diseases is that their research takes years to develop. Even to this day, with immense technological advancements, there is no cure.
In the United States, the use of asbestos in new products has significantly reduced. However, many buildings or ships created then still exist, and certified professionals must remove these materials to prevent further exposure.
5 Signs You’ve Been Exposed To Asbestos
If you have been exposed to asbestos, you will likely experience chest tightness and shortness of breath. As mentioned before, asbestos is created from very small fibrous crystals. During construction, the small fibers can become trapped in the lungs, which may cause inflammation and even scarring.
Consequently, you may have breathing problems that may worsen over time as the damage proceeds. Persistent damage can lead to chronic cough and even internal bleeding.
The problem with persistent cough is not just the discomfort that comes with it; it is also a fact that individuals often pay little heed to it. Remember that if it lasts for weeks or even months, it could be a sign of asbestos exposure. The cough is generally accompanied by chest pain, tiredness, and significant weight loss. If you have similar symptoms, remember to get to check rather than sweep them under the rug.
Significant Chest Pain
Chest pain can signify asbestos exposure, especially if accompanied by other respiratory symptoms. The pain can be caused by inflammation of the lining of the lungs, a condition known as pleuritis, which can be triggered by exposure to asbestos fibers.
A skin rash can be a result of direct contact with asbestos. These rashes can appear as small red bumps on the skin, mainly the face, neck, and torso. The rash may be extremely uncomfortable due to its itchiness and inflammation.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It affects the heart, lungs, and abdomen lining and hence can cause immense pain in the affected area. It also comes with other symptoms, such as vomiting or general nausea.
What Can You Do After Getting Exposed to Asbestos?
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you believe you have suffered from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, consider getting medical attention immediately. Even if you haven’t suspected any symptoms, but there is some construction on demolishing old buildings in your neighborhood, you should still get it checked out.
Sometimes symptoms can take a while to show up, and a doctor can perform many tests to ensure whether you have been exposed and can monitor your health for some time.
You must also contact an attorney if you believe you have been exposed. That is because asbestos exposure can result in significant discomfort and even fatal illnesses if you were exposed in your workplace, and you could be eligible for some compensation. A lawyer can help you through the process and take any claims against those responsible.
Large-Scale Asbestos Testing
If you are concerned about asbestos exposure in your home or workplace, consider having the area tested. Asbestos testing can help identify areas of potential exposure and can inform decisions about removal or remediation.
In conclusion, asbestos exposure results in significant health problems. To protect yourself physically, mentally, and financially you must seek immediate medical assistance but also pursue legal action for any harm or potential harm that may have occurred to you. And, to be safe, take note of every or any symptoms you may be experiencing.
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