Asbestos is an outdated building material that was commonplace in the industrial world until we uncovered its dangers. If you’re wondering what the dangers of working with asbestos are, then you’ve come to the right place. Discover some of the common health issues that studies have attributed to asbestos exposure below.
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Health Effects of Asbestos
Asbestos is considered an outdated and unsafe manufacturing and insulating material. This is mainly due to its harmful health-related effects that those who have worked with the material have suffered. Many organizations, including OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Cancer Institute, have thoroughly studied and recorded the negative health effects resulting from asbestos exposure. These are some of the conditions that arise from working with asbestos.
Mesothelioma & Other Cancers
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other organizations have classified asbestos as a known carcinogen, or a cancer-causing substance. People who are exposed to asbestos possess a higher risk of developing mesothelioma as well as lung, stomach, and ovarian cancer. In fact, asbestos exposure accounts for about four percent of lung cancer cases.
Asbestosis is a condition involving inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue, which is caused by breathing in disturbed asbestos fibers. This condition prevents the lungs from operating properly, as they are unable to expand and relax normally.
Asbestos can lead to several other conditions regarding the lungs. These include pleural plaque, pleural effusion, diffuse pleural thickening, and pleurisy. These conditions result in difficulty breathing due to the scarring or thickening of the pleural lining of the lungs.
These health effects of working with asbestos remind us why it’s important to use non-asbestos materials in modern building and manufacturing processes. There are plenty of modern alternatives to asbestos materials for insulation, manufacturing, and building processes. The dangers of working with asbestos far outweigh the outdated benefits of the material itself. Hopefully, this brief look into conditions that asbestos can cause has answered the question, “What are the dangers of working with asbestos?”.