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The diseases associated with asbestos exposure

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2016 | Workplace Injuries |

Asbestos exposure is linked to several diseases, which is why its use has been restricted. However, many workers in San Antonio, especially those in construction, continue to risk exposure when working in older buildings that still contain materials made from asbestos. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an asbestos-related disease might arise from either short-term or long-term exposure.

There are several minerals that fall under the category of asbestos, all of which are deemed unsafe. The fibers are dangerous to breathe in and reduce the function of the lungs. Asbestos exposure also has the potential to contribute to the development of several different diseases. Due to this, workers operating in buildings known to have asbestos must follow certain safety guidelines to limit exposure, thereby reducing the risk of developing one of the asbestos-related diseases.

According to WebMD, the length and extent of an asbestos exposure, as well as the fibers’ makeup, plays a significant role in the risk of developing a disease. Certain fiber types appear to be more associated with certain diseases. A person’s health, especially whether they smoke or have pre-existing lung problems, might make a person more susceptible to developing a disease.

The main diseases associated with asbestos include:

  •        Lung problems
  •        Mesothelioma
  •        Asbestosis
  •        Cancer

Mesothelioma, a form of cancer often associated with asbestos, does not just affect the lungs; it can also be found in the abdomen and chest cavity of a person. It is not the only cancer that has n connection with asbestos. Studies have found a correlation between gastrointestinal, gallbladder, voice box, brain, bladder kidney and throat cancer, although the strength of the association is not as strong as it is for lung cancer and mesothelioma.

In addition to cancer, exposure to asbestos might cause other lung problems. One such disorder is known as asbestosis, which occurs when the fibers irritate the lung tissue, causing inflammation and scar tissue. This eventually affects a person’s ability to breathe, which might lead to other health problems.