Until the last 25 years of the 20th century asbestos was heavily used in many different construction techniques. This mineral was a fantastic way to insulate, prevent fires, and overall help the building remain weather and fire proof. The unfortunate downside is that asbestos is a known human carcinogen. Prolonged exposure to this mineral leads to lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Here is how that works.
What is Prolonged Exposure?
If you live in a house built before about 1975, then you likely have some asbestos in the house. You may have asbestos siding, or asbestos built into the popcorn ceiling, or if you look around in the attic, you likely have asbestos up there too. The good news is that this asbestos isn’t going to hurt you. Unless you disturb the material it remains inert. And even if you spend a little bit of time, with minimal precautions, removing the material, there is little chance that you will have enough exposure to cause lasting damage.
Prolonged exposure means you are exposed day after day, for years on end, to the material. It looks like this: you go into work at a factory or manufacturing plant. In this plant there are areas that have furnaces and boilers, so the company has used asbestos to insulate. Unfortunately things get dirty, so you, or someone else, are always busy scrubbing, brushing, and wiping away at the surfaces. This disturbs the asbestos fibers which become airborne. Day after day you inhale small amounts of these particles causing long-term damage to your lungs.
How Asbestos Leads to Cancer or Asbestosis
Asbestos fibers look almost like little chards of fiberglass. They are jagged and when they go into the lungs they lodge into the linings. Once in place the body naturally tries to get rid of them. However, there is way to dislodge them, so the area becomes inflamed and irritated. This is the perfect environment for cancer to start growing. Lung cancer is common, asbestosis (simply defined as scarring of the lung tissue) easily occurs, and mesothelioma can occur. In fact, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the only way to contract that disease is through asbestos exposure.
You Can Get Help
The unfortunate downside is that the disease cannot be cured. The good side is that modern medicine has come a long way, and with mesothelioma treatment you can be kept comfortable. If you are suffering from asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma, you can file an asbestos lawsuit and collect compensation for medical expenses and other damages. You simply need to contact an asbestos attorney to get things started.