How would you feel if your loved one had a few months to live, and it was too late to treat the condition? This is what happens to asbestos contaminated patients. The chemical compositions pile up within the body over time and experts diagnoses the drastic, full blown effects years later.
What you should know Asbestos is a chemical component which lurks dangerously within buildings’ mineral formations especially in mining, manufacturing and construction firms. They vary in types but the most dangerous ones are colored brown and blue. They’re fibrous in nature and can mix up with granite and cement.
Men removing asbestos (Image Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gogreenasap)
Intake of asbestos can lead to deadly diseases. Identifying asbestos is still the first and practical prevention step.
An alarming number of Australians have asbestos-related diseases. For over three decades, several firms used construction materials with high amounts of asbestos. It wasn’t until later that medical cases have shown its deadly effects.
Malignant mesothelioma This cancer usually relates directly to asbestos exposure - inhaling asbestos components causes cells of the mesothelium (protective membrane surrounding internal organs) to become abnormal and divide, and invade other parts of the body. It usually begins in the lungs.
Imagine a rotting outside element within the lungs, resulting in the respiratory organ not being able to function correctly. If left untreated, patients may experience the inability to breath, suffocation, and death.
Human lungs. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/freedigitalphotos.net
Lung Cancer A common misconception is that people can’t have lung cancer if they don’t smoke or expose themselves to second hand smoke. But asbestos exposure can cause this disease.
Forget tar-sticking ingredients which can’t be taken out within the lungs. Asbestos elements can take over healthy lung cells, and this results in tumor formation.
These cancerous cells may accumulate and no longer revive the entire organ, requiring cancer treatment and chemotherapy.
Asbestosis This disease indicates a scarring of the lung tissue. Asbestos elements can invade our respiratory organs, then accumulate within the membranes.
Asbestosis symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pains, and in extreme cases, the lungs collapse altogether. Thousands have died due to this preventable condition.
These diseases are just few of the possible dangerous health effects of asbestos exposure. And although numerous studies and funds have been initiated to support the cure and prevention of these diseases, it's safer to be cautious and aware of its adverse effects.