There is no safe limit for asbestos exposure. That does not mean that every person exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer. However, it is important to keep in mind that asbestos-related diseases may not appear for decades after the exposure.
While treatment is available for mesothelioma, there is no cure for the disease.
Asbestos, a mineral, is just one example of how natural is not always synonymous with safe. Many of those who currently suffer from mesothelioma, or another asbestos-related cancer, were exposed in some form of mining or manufacturing that involved asbestos decades ago.
For most people, current asbestos exposure occurs when they are in a building undergoing renovation. Asbestos was long used in flooring, insulation and other building items, prior to 1980, because of its heat resistance. When the asbestos breaks up, dust is created, and people in the vicinity may inhale or swallow it. The microscopic asbestos fibers are what can cause cancers and other diseases.
If you live with someone who works with asbestos regularly, you are also at a higher risk of exposure. Such workers may bring home minute asbestos fibers on their footwear and clothing. Therefore, it is extremely important for such workers to shower and change clothing before heading home.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is critical that you visit your primary care physician each year for check-ups. The doctor may conduct pulmonary function testing during these visits. Any change can indicate further testing is needed.
The renowned Mayo Clinic defines mesothelioma as a cancer occurring in the “thin layer of tissue” that covers most of the internal organs. Known as the mesothelium, the layer of tissues most often affected are those in the lungs, followed by those in the abdomen, around the heart, or testicles in males.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor specializing in mesothelioma as soon as possible.
Since you cannot know whether mesothelioma will strike once you have been exposed, it is important to take other health precautions besides an annual doctor’s visit.
If you smoke, quit. Not only does quitting smoking benefit your health overall, most people know that tobacco may cause lung cancer. Exposure to two carcinogens potentially affecting the lungs just increases the odds of developing some form of lung cancer.
Get flu and pneumonia preventative shots as needed. You want to lower the possibilities of weakening your lungs. Ask your doctor to recommend a good diet and exercise program for your needs and be overall mindful of your health and wellness.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to gain compensation you may deserve. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.