Most people have heard of asbestos. However, many don’t know how harmful asbestos exposure can be. Asbestos, basically, is a mineral. This mineral consists of soft, flexible fibers that are corrosion, heat, and electricity resistant. These characteristics make asbestos useful in many ways, but it doesn’t make exposure to it any less toxic. For decades, it was used in insulation, fireproofing materials, and construction projects.
Although many people are quick to assume that asbestos exposure isn’t a concern that needs to be addressed anymore, it is still a fatal public health issue. Scientists have known about and shared their knowledge of the dangers of asbestos exposure. Yet, asbestos-related illnesses and deaths remain a big concern to this day. Recent reports show that over 40,000 asbestos-related deaths occurred in 2019 alone. Common deadly asbestos-related diseases include Mesothelioma and Asbestosis.
It’s critical to have some knowledge about this toxic substance. This knowledge can help you and those you love to take the necessary precautions against asbestos. Here are five essential things you should know about asbestos.
Asbestos Exposure is Never Safe
While some substances have a safe level of exposure, asbestos is not one of them. According to the U. S. Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA), a “safe” level of asbestos exposure doesn’t exist. Even being exposed to asbestos for only a couple of days may cause asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos and Asbestos-Containing Products are Imported to the U.S.
The U. S. Geological Survey reveals that 300 metric tons of chrysotile, the only type of raw asbestos still being imported into the U.S., were imported here in just 2020. In addition to raw chrysotile, the U.S imports asbestos-containing products such as vehicle parts and gaskets.
Asbestos Becomes Hazardous When Disturbed
Asbestos only becomes a hazard when disturbed. Once disturbed, its fibers can become airborne where people are likely to inhale them. Most of the time, it’s best to leave asbestos undisturbed than to risk that it be improperly removed and pose a danger.
Breathing: The Most Common Ways for Asbestos to Enter the Human Body
Asbestos isn’t typically harmful until or unless its fibers are in the air where someone can inhale them. If they are inhaled, the fibers become trapped inside the body. Fibers that get trapped within the mucous membranes found in the mouth and nose are removable. However, those inhaled deep into the lung tissues can’t be removed and will begin to pose health risks.
You May Not Notice the Symptoms Related to Asbestos Exposure or Decades
While some health risks decrease over time after exposure to a substance has ceased or decreased—such is often the case with cigarettes, it’s not true with all of them. Asbestos-linked diseases like Mesothelioma can develop a long time after an asbestos exposure. The American Cancer Society reports that sometimes it can take 20 to 50 years from exposure to diagnosis. After exposure to asbestos, the risks are life-long and don’t decrease.
Were You Diagnosed with an Asbestos-Related Disease? Call the Law Office of David M. Kaufman, PLLC Today
If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition linked to asbestos exposure, it’s time to seek legal advice. You could be owed compensation for your injuries and related damages. Call our office today at 631-761-6400 or get in touch online to schedule your free consultation with an asbestos attorney.