How Asbestos Causes Health Effects
Asbestos was a popular construction material several decades ago, but it turned out to cause significant health effects over time. It’s been years since the banning of the use of asbestos, but many existing homes and buildings still contain it. The diseases it causes are mostly lung-related, but can also spread elsewhere in the body through ingestion.
There are different risk factors of getting an asbestos-related disease:
- Concentration – how much asbestos was in the air you breathe
- Duration – cumulative length of all exposures
- Dose – a combination of concentration and duration
The higher the dose of asbestos you inhale, the higher your risk is of developing an asbestos-related disease. Depending on your susceptibility to asbestos, you may or may not develop such diseases. If you are a cigarette smoker, you have a higher susceptibility to asbestos, resulting in a higher risk of getting ill.
The latency period for asbestos disease
The latency period refers to the period from the time of first exposure to asbestos to the discovery of the illness. When you are exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos-related disease, you may not see the symptoms until several years later. In the instance of asbestosis, it can take a minimum of five – ten years, but most of the time, a diagnoses is found closer to 40 or more years.
There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Even a small amount of asbestos can cause diseases. Moreover, as the fibers of asbestos can be stuck in your lungs for life, there is also no maximum latency period.
Occupations putting you at risk for asbestos disease
People who work in the construction, railroad, shipbuilding, and automotive industries may be exposed to asbestos throughout their career. As such, they are more likely to contract respiratory illnesses due to asbestos, such as asbestosis, asbestos pleural disease, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
Unfortunately, they also put their families at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos dust can stick on to clothes, hair, skin, shoes, and clothing that they can bring home. If not properly cleaned, these fibers can stick to fabrics around the house like courtons, fabric couches, chairs, etc.
Furthermore, there is potential asbestos exposure in schools, public buildings, and homes where asbestos had been used for construction. Asbestos deteriorates, and when they are disturbed, asbestos fibers go into the air.
Asbestos poses serious health effects that mostly affect the respiratory system. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. It can take years before the symptoms of an asbestos-related disease come out, and by then, it can progress rapidly. There is no cure to the diseases caused by asbestos, so prevention is incredibly vital. There’s no leaving it to chances because the health effects are severe and life-threatening.
If you suspect that your house or commercial property is contaminated by asbestos, act fast, and seek the help of experts. CVE is a licensed and certified asbestos removal company covering 90% of California. We have over 30 years of experience in the asbestos removal industry. Call, chat or send us a message to schedule your free on-site estimate.