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Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a scary substance that, when breathed in, can result in serious health problems. Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos will have issues. A few factors affect the risk level, such as how much asbestos is in the air, and the exposure time. Still, exposure should always be taken seriously. Knowing the risks and symptoms could save your life. Visit this website to learn more about asbestos exposure and treatment.

Pleural Disease

This is a lung disease that causes the membrane around the lungs to become thicker and fill up with liquid. This thickening can cause difficulty breathing and reduced lung efficiency. It can be fatal if not caught quickly.


Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that can lead to mesothelioma. It is signified by scarring on the lungs that makes breathing more difficult. Usually, this disease is found among people who have had frequent exposure over many years. Asbestosis is also often diagnosed late because it takes a long time for symptoms to appear.

Lung Cancer

Sometimes confused with mesothelioma, lung cancer is the growth of tumors within the lung cavity. While this cancer can be caused by many different things, asbestos exposure is known to increase that chance. The odds go up, even more, when asbestos exposure is combined with smoking. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and fever.


Mesothelioma is similar to lung cancer, but tumors grow in the pleural tissue that surrounds the outside of the lungs, rather than inside the lung cavity. Mesothelioma is rare, but serious, and often fatal. Signs of it might not appear for up to 40 years after asbestos exposure. It requires rigorous treatment- surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. While smoking greatly increases the chance of lung cancer, it does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.

Because of the serious nature of these diseases, it is important to take as much precaution as possible to avoid asbestos exposure. Avoid entering old building sites, or run-down buildings. Don’t touch old pipes, flooring, or insulation in your home unless you have consulted with a professional first. If you live near a construction site, keep windows and doors closed to prevent dust blowing into your home. If you think you might have been exposed, or have come in contact with someone who was, see a doctor immediately. Treatment options work best when these diseases are caught early on. It is scary to think about, but knowing the risks and staying alert will help you stay safe.