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What Does Asbestos Do To Humans?

What Asbestos exposure can do to you!

Asbestos exposure poses significant health risks to humans, leading to various serious illnesses and diseases. When humans are exposed to asbestos, they can develop a range of respiratory diseases and other health conditions.

One of the most severe diseases caused by asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and, less commonly, the abdomen (peritoneum) and heart (pericardium). This type of cancer is almost exclusively linked to asbestos exposure.

Lung cancer is another major risk associated with asbestos exposure. The toxic mineral significantly increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer, especially among smokers. Unlike mesothelioma, lung cancer develops within the lung tissue itself and is not confined to the outer linings.

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease resulting from inhaling asbestos fibres. It leads to scarring of lung tissue, causing breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, persistent cough, and chest pain.

In addition to malignant conditions, asbestos exposure can cause non-malignant health issues. Pleural plaques, which are localized thickened areas on the pleura, indicate significant asbestos exposure. Although generally not dangerous, they can signal the potential for more severe diseases. Pleural thickening is another condition where the pleura thickens diffusely, restricting lung expansion and causing breathlessness. Additionally, pleural effusion, the accumulation of fluid between the layers of the pleura, can lead to chest pain and breathing difficulties.

Asbestos exposure can also impact the immune system. The inhaled or ingested fibres can cause chronic inflammation and changes in the immune system, potentially leading to autoimmune disorders. The process begins when asbestos fibres are inhaled or ingested, becoming lodged in the lungs or other tissues. Over time, these fibres cause chronic inflammation and cellular damage. One challenging aspect of asbestos-related diseases is their long latency period, meaning symptoms may not appear until decades after the initial exposure.

Preventing these health risks involves awareness and education about the dangers and risks of asbestos exposure. Hiring certified professionals for asbestos inspection and removal is crucial to ensure safe handling and disposal, thereby minimizing exposure risks. In summary, asbestos exposure can cause a range of severe health issues, primarily affecting the respiratory system, with some conditions potentially leading to cancer. No amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe, underscoring the importance of awareness and proper safety measures.

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