Unknowingly, asbestos is present around us in various ways, be it in buildings or technical equipment. There is, therefore, still a significant risk of exposure to this dangerous fiber today. These risks are often linked to cleaning, repair, renovation, demolition of asbestos buildings or installations, unsafe removal of asbestos materials, and dumping of asbestos. Here are some dangers that asbestos poses to our health.
Asbestos fibers are very thin up to 2,000 times finer than a hair but relatively long. These can penetrate the lungs, stay there, and cause lesions. The fibers are bio-persistent (they tend to remain in biological organisms rather than being broken down or expelled) so they stay within the body and can, therefore, generate different diseases.
The Effects of Asbestos Depend on Various Factors:
- The level or intensity of the exposure (the concentration of fibers in the air)
- The amount of fiber inhaled
- The duration of exposure
- Frequency of exposures
- The size and type of inhaled asbestos fibers
- The time since the first exposure
- The age
Asbestos-related diseases are either non-cancerous, such as asbestosis or fibrosis of the lungs, or cancerous, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
The fibers retained in the lungs can interact with tissues and cause inflammation of the lung and/or of the tissue, which envelops it, the pleura. These manifestations are very progressive and are not easily detected at an early stage.
Diseases Related to the Exposure of Asbestos
Asbestosis is the most common disease. It is a pulmonary fibrosis caused by the intense and prolonged inhalation (10 to 20 years) of asbestos dust. It results in a progressive decrease in respiratory capacity. Severe cases can be fatal.
2) Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can appear after intensive exposure to asbestos. It takes a long time to declare itself: 20 to 30 years after the initial exposure. Lung cancer is not all linked to asbestos, with tobacco being most often involved.
It is a cancer of the pleura (outer covering of the lungs) or of the peritoneum (covering of the abdominal cavity). Mesothelioma is not linked to strong or long-term exposure and can develop even after low or short-term exposure. It can, therefore, strike outside the workplace. It takes a very long time to declare itself: 30 to 40 years after the exposure.
In the event of accidental exposure to large quantities of asbestos, a visit to a specialist (pulmonologist) is recommended.
If you need asbestos cleaning services, the team at Action Hamzat Companies can help you! Their handlers are licensed and trained to remove asbestos on acoustic ceilings, floor tiles, roofs, underground piping, etc. Do not hesitate to contact them!