Asbestos is well-known as a substance that may be damaging to one’s health, contributing to the development of a variety of ailments. But, precisely how can asbestos injure people? What is the science underlying its mechanism of action, and how does it work? To comprehend this, it is necessary to first define asbestos.
What exactly is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate substance that forms in the veins of metamorphic rock, as defined on our website.
The material was widely utilised in a number of sectors, including carpentry, plumbing, and building, until the year 2000. Asbestos was used in roofing, asbestos cement sheets and pipes, clutch and brake linings, insulation, construction materials, boilers, electrical fittings, gaskets, floor tiles, plastics, textiles, and other items due of its strength and heat resistance.
The risks of asbestos usage were just recently discovered, and the use of asbestos in industry was phased out.
danger, danger, peril
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So, what makes asbestos so hazardous?
When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or destroyed, such as during construction, minute fibres are released into the air. When these fibres become airborne, persons working in the vicinity inhale them into their lungs.
However, this early asbestos exposure does not immediately result in a dangerous condition. Instead, the microfibres stay in the lungs for a long time, causing diseases to develop gradually.
Furthermore, it stands to reason that the more an individual’s asbestos exposure, the greater the build-up of dangerous fibres in the lungs. However, because to the long time it takes for asbestos-related diseases to develop, it’s impossible to tell if you’ve been exposed to asbestos before symptoms appear.
Exposure for a long time
Mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural thickening are the four most frequent diseases linked to long-term asbestos exposure. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs
Mesothelioma is a deadly disease caused nearly entirely by asbestos exposure. A malignancy that affects the lining of the lower digestive system and the lining of the lungs develops as a result of excessive exposure. It is almost usually incurable by the time it is diagnosed.
Asbestosis is a disease that affects people.
The build-up of asbestos fibres in the lungs after prolonged exposure can cause significant scarring. Asbestosis is a condition that causes shortness of breath as a result of this.
As is the case with mesothelioma, asbestosis is virtually entirely caused by asbestos exposure. Fortunately, it usually does not result in death.
Thickening of the pleura
Pleura is the name for the lining of the lungs. This lining can thicken and enlarge as a result of excessive asbestos exposure, eventually squeezing into the lung itself. Pleural thickening is the result of this, which causes shortness of breath and a severe sense of pain in the chest.
Lung cancer caused by asbestos
Asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer in the same manner as smoking does. Cells in the body mutate, grow out of control, and form a tumour – most typically in the lungs – when this happens. If this tumour is left untreated, it can continue to develop and spread to other parts of the body, eventually killing the patient.
Every year, around 5000 employees are killed by asbestos, with 20 craftsmen dying each week as a result of earlier exposure. Contact us right away if you think you could have asbestos on your property. We’re here to assist you.