Health Risks of Asbestos

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Asbestos is in the air, water, and soil around us, so almost everyone is exposed at some point. Most people, however, are not harmed by infrequent exposure to low levels of environmental asbestos. Asbestos health risks are more of a concern among people who work directly with asbestos or in an asbestos-contaminated workplace.

How Asbestos Health Risks Develop

When asbestos particles are inhaled or swallowed, they travel through the body and become lodged in tissues, where they cause inflammation and eventually lead to asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. Workers aren’t the only ones who may be exposed to the health risks of asbestos in this manner, however. Family members have been exposed to asbestos after contact with dust or fibers on an asbestos worker’s hair or clothing.

It is important for individuals to assess their exposure to asbestos, particularly if they, or a family member, worked in a high-risk industry. Individuals can work with a physician to monitor their health for symptoms of respiratory conditions.

Asbestos Health Risks: Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer

Studies suggest that asbestos health risks include several types of cancer and diseases such as asbestosis. Lung cancer and mesothelioma are the most serious asbestos health risks, however.

Although mesothelioma is a form of cancer that often affects the lining of the lungs (pleura), it is a separate disease from lung cancer. Mesothelioma can also form in the lining around the heart (pericardia) or abdomen (peritoneum), or the testes in males.

Asbestos Health Risks: Asbestosis

Compared to lung cancer or mesothelioma, asbestosis is a less serious asbestos health risk. An inflammatory condition that affects the lungs, asbestosis can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage, but it isn’t fatal.

Other asbestos health risks associated with asbestosis are also benign, including changes in the membrane surrounding the lung (pleural plaques), pleural thickening, and collections of fluid in the lining of the lungs and chest wall (pleural effusions).

Are You Entitled to Money for Your Injuries?

Asbestos health risks are a fact of life for those who been exposed to asbestos, particularly if that exposure occurred regularly over a period of time. If you have mesothelioma, you may have a legal claim for compensation for your injuries. Contact Sokolove Law at 1-888-360-4215 today to learn more.