Understanding why asbestos damages the lungs
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Understanding why asbestos damages the lungs

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | asbestos

Asbestos can cause a number of serious health conditions. Interestingly, exposure doesn’t result in health problems right away. Instead, it may take many years to see any sign that exposure occurred at all.

Asbestos is a mineral found naturally in nature. It is in rocks and soil. Since it was fire-resistant, it was used in many industries until people began to get sick. At that point, it was finally realized that asbestos was actually a dangerous mineral that could cause disease.

What makes asbestos fibers more dangerous than other kinds?

The main issue with asbestos fibers is that they are very thin and can easily go into the air. There, they may be breathed in and become lodged in the lungs. Since the fibers may go deep into the lungs and get stuck, they aren’t all coughed out or removed naturally.

Any asbestos that remains in the lungs may then start to cause inflammation and scarring. This can go on to cause illnesses such as mesothelioma, pleural plaques, lung cancer and asbestosis.

How long does it take to know if you’ll develop health problems from exposure?

Normally, the scarring and inflammation doesn’t cause damage right away. However, over the ten to 40 years following exposure, most patients begin to show signs that they’ve been exposed. They might be short of breath or have a chronic cough that they can’t really explain.

If you start to show these symptoms, it’s important to see a medical provider. If an asbestos-related illness is the cause, then you may be able to seek compensation for exposure.