Most people have heard about some of the dangers of working around asbestos. Asbestos fibers are tiny fibers from minerals that are not visible to the naked eye and are airborne. When you work around these tiny fibers, you may be inhaling them directly into your lungs if you are not wearing the proper protective equipment.
Long-Term Asbestos Inhalation Can Be Deadly
If you have recently worked in an older home, you may have been exposed to asbestos. However, if you have not been exposed more than once, you should have nothing to worry about. In most cases, persons that have been working around asbestos for a long time are the ones exhibiting symptoms associated with asbestos inhalation. Some of the most common symptoms of long-term asbestos inhalation include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Lungs make a crackling sound when you inhale
- Weight loss you cannot explain
The Clothing You Wear Home Can Be Dangerous
If you work in your jeans and t-shirt, you could be taking tiny asbestos fibers home to your family. Asbestos will adhere to your clothing by working its way into the fabric. Hugging your family members after work can expose them to the asbestos in your clothing. When your spouse washes your work clothes, he or she could be exposed to asbestos, especially if clothing is shaken out before being put into the wash. When you are certain that you are working around asbestos, be sure to always wear protective clothing as well as a respirator mask. Doing so can protect you and your family as well.
Asbestos Exposure Is Associated With Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that has been described as rare and directly caused by the long-term inhalation of asbestos. Three types of mesothelioma can strike someone that has experienced long-term exposure to asbestos:
- Pleural mesothelioma: Cancer in the mesothelium, the lining in the lungs.
- Pericardial mesothelioma: Cancer from asbestos that forms in the pericardium, the lining surrounding the heart. This type of mesothelioma is the rarest of the three forms.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: This form of cancer forms in the peritoneal lining in the abdomen.
You Can Lower Your Chances Of Asbestos Inhalation
Asbestos was used in several types of building materials because of its durability. However, today, other materials are being used in its place, lowering your risk of exposure a great deal. If you worry about asbestos being in a home that you are working in, learning more about professional asbestos abatement services is a good idea.