Asbestos poisoning, also known more commonly as asbestos exposure in the United States, is the result of long-term exposure to asbestos and asbestos fibers. It’s important to understand not only how this condition occurs, but from where and the symptoms to look out for. Due to the long timeframe of asbestos poisoning, it’s important to catch it early before symptoms start.
Causes of Asbestos Exposure
Thankfully, due to the partial bans and general removal of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) from modern construction, asbestos exposure is rarer than ever. When people are exposed to asbestos, it’s generally from one of three sources.
Asbestos at the Workplace
Asbestos has had a long history of being exposed to workers, and it’s their exposure more than anything else that cemented the connection between asbestos and health concerns. Today, asbestos is due not to mining or manufacturing with asbestos and instead linked to asbestos construction materials still present in offices and factories.
Asbestos and the Worksite
Of all the people exposed in modern times, construction contractors are most at risk. From installing asbestos materials up until the bans to modern renovations and demolitions, they have a higher chance when working on these sites.
Asbestos at Home
In houses constructed before 1990, asbestos construction materials are a risk. Not only exposed during remodels or demolition, asbestos materials throughout the house can be compromised and start asbestos exposure due to damage or decay.
Symptoms of Asbestos Poisoning
Asbestos causes the majority of its health concerns by being inhaled into the lungs, causing several health conditions. While they all differ in their own individual health risks and complications, they also have several conditions in common. Individuals who experience the following conditions persistently (especially if they abate when away from certain work or home) may be exposed:
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent and worsening cough
- Coughing up blood
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling and tenderness in the neck or face
- Fatigue or loss of appetite
Understanding the Asbestos Latency Period
The period from initial exposure to symptoms varies on the severity of the health concern. Asbestos exposure starts with inflammation of the throat and mouth and coughing. First damage is done to the lungs in the form of scarring from the sharp fibers, known as asbestosis. From there, the initial stages of lung cancer and mesothelioma vary anywhere 10 and 80 years.
If you think you’re suffering from asbestos poisoning, you can consult with your doctor, though there are no easy medical testing. Instead, you need to get the property inspected for asbestos. If you’re in Massachusetts or New Hampshire and need asbestos inspection and abatement, Fiber Control can help. Contact us today.