The human health gets severely affected from long-term unsafe asbestos exposure. These effects are well documented. Airborne Asbestos fibres can be easily inhaled and carried into the lower regions of the lung where they can cause fibrotic lung disease (asbestosis) and changes in the lining of the chest cavity. These diseases can lead to reduced respiratory function and eventually death. Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibres also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Apart from lung ailments, enlargement of the heart can also occur as an indirect effect from the increased resistance of blood flow through the lungs.
People are more likely to experience asbestos-related disorders if they are constantly exposed to high concentrations of asbestos and/or airborne asbestos fibres for a long period of time.
What is the risk of lung cancer from working with asbestos?
The risk of getting lung cancer after continuous asbestos exposure depends on a number of factors, the most important of which are:
- the level and the duration of exposure
- the time since exposure occurred
- the age at which exposure occurred
- the tobacco-smoking history of the exposed person
- the type and size of the asbestos fibres.
The average time from exposure to cancer development (latency period) is 20 to 30 years. Lung cancer has also been reported in household contacts and family members of asbestos workers, presumably from exposure to asbestos carried home on work clothes.
Symptoms of lung cancer include chronic cough, weight loss and shortness of breath, fever, and chest pain. These symptoms are also common with other lung disorders, therefore to confirm the diagnosis it is necessary to carry out laboratory tests including chest x-rays. Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms in the early stages. When such symptoms occur the cancer is often in an advanced stage.
Which types of occupations could be exposed to asbestos?
Although the use of asbestos is now banned world over, we still surrounded by the presence of asbestos in many materials around us. The asbestos was widely used as an insulator in following industries:
Construction industry – disturbing asbestos-containing materials during building renovations or demolitions
Mechanics – vehicle brake and clutch repairs
Marines – demolishing ships constructed with asbestos-containing materials
Custodial workers – contact with deteriorating asbestos-containing materials in buildings
Insulation workers and heating trades
Sheet metal workers, plumbers and pipe fitters
Workers responsible for disposing of asbestos waste, and waste workers
Mining of asbestos and usage of all products containing asbestos have been banned in India. If you want to check whether your business premise has presence of asbestos, it’s time to call EPSCO India Asbestos Abatement Service. We are an EPA/AHERA certified Asbestos Abatement company which gets rid of asbestos safely. Call us and keep your life and that of your employee’s secured from the hazardous effects of Asbestos.