Asbestos saw extensive use in building construction, and many older buildings and houses can contain this material. The danger isn’t from large pieces, but particles of individual fibers that can enter your lungs. As these buildings age, asbestos fiber can be shed. Asbestos fiber can also be created during maintenance and renovation of a home or business building. The following are three of the most common illnesses caused by asbestos inhalation, showing why it’s vital to have it removed from a building.
Asbestosis is a form of lung fibrosis – the thickening and scarring of lung tissue from being exposed to asbestos particles. This scarring reduces the efficiency of your lungs’ ability to transfer oxygen, and leads to difficulty breathing. This shortness of breath can contribute to other diseases, such as heart disease and cyanosis, as well as an increased risk of lung infections, and can lead to cancer of the lungs or mesothelium (see below). Asbestosis cannot be reversed, but the shortness of breath can be treated with home oxygen therapy and lung physiotherapy.
Conditions like Asbestosis are prime contributors to the development of lung cancer, with about 50% of those with asbestosis found to also have lung cancer post mortem. Asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer, as other sources (such as smoking) can increase this risk further. For this reason, conditions like Asbestosis need to be diagnosed so you can also be screened for lung cancer. While lung cancer can be treated, the prognosis is poor unless it is detected in its early stages.
The mesothelium is a thin lining of tissue that covers the lungs and chest walls, as well as many other organs, with malignant mesothelioma being cancer that can form on this tissue. This aggressive cancer is usually caused by lungs being exposed to asbestos (80% of all mesothelioma cases are linked to asbestos). Mesothelioma causes pain in the chest walls, shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, and tumor growth and metastasizing. It is resistant to radiation, and long-term survival is rare.
Here at Fiber Control, Inc., we know this is all very scary. Long term exposure to asbestos is very dangerous, which is why it is vital to get your home or building inspected. Let us help locate, contain, and remove this hazardous material from your home. Learn more about our services, and contact us today to get started.