Although asbestos is no longer a commonly used material for building there has been a rise in the number of diseases caused by asbestos exposure. This is because the fibers that cause the problem take about 20 to 30 years to manifest. Thus, after a long period of dormancy the symptoms show up dramatically. What is even more dangerous is the fact that many of the symptoms are similar to other diseases, and so it is all the more difficult to find the real cause.
Asbestos is a material that was very popular as an insulator. It insulates very well, and it is fire retardant. As a result, it has been used in many buildings. Because asbestos is not a problem as long as it is not stirred up, many building that were built using it as insulation have not replaced the asbestos. But, exposure to this substance years ago may only now be manifesting itself in the form of cancer or even asbetosis (which cannot be cured).
Asbestos is essentially microscopic fibers that can be inhaled through the nose or mouth. The fibers floating in the air can be breathed into the body and then get deposited in the lining of the lungs. Crews who work to demolish or remodel old construction sites are at high risk of exposure to these small fibers.
Since the illness takes decades to manifest, the damage is not immediately apparent. This can explain the rise in the number of poisoning cases today. Initially, the poisoning is likely to be diagnosed as lung disease since the symptoms are common.
The symptoms of diseases caused by asbestos fibers include increased shortness of breath over time and coughing. These symptoms come with other diseases, and are mistaken for less deadly illnesses. Since the symptoms do not appear to be too serious, they are often ignored. That is dangerous! So, when you experience a persistent cough or shortness of breath, get it checked at once.
Other symptoms like chest pain, hoarseness, and coughing up blood are also symptoms of asbestos related diseases and far more dangerous if they persist for too long. Therefore you must get proper tests done if you have ever been exposed to asbestos and you experience these symptoms now.
Seeing a specialist can help you determine whether or not your problem is asbestos related. If you fear that you have been exposed through work, then speak with your doctor about your concerns and see if you can get a referral to a specialist. It is very important that you catch signs of asbestos early.
The symptoms of asbestos related illness can be treated but there is no permanent cure. If the illness progresses into lung cancer, then surgery or chemotherapy may be required. The systems can also be controlled to a certain degree by leading a healthy lifestyle.
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Ralph Caruzzo is the chief writer for, and editor of Asbestos & Lead, it's one of the webs most up to date Asbestos sites, while you're there sign up for the free newsletter. For more quality articles on Asbestos why not visit: www.asbestoslead.com/articles
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