Your In-Depth Guide to Asbestos Exposure, Including What to Do If You Have Been Exposed During Your Life
Asbestos is a diverse fiber that is used in many industries and is safe if it is mitigated from becoming airborne. Unfortunately, this situation isn’t always prevented and many people experience real health dangers as a result of exposure to asbestos. Here’s what you need to know about these factors and whether or not you’re at risk. This information will also help you understand not only the diseases that you may develop as a result of your exposure but what to do if you do get exposed.
The Health Dangers of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is no longer used in the construction industry and is mostly present in older buildings where it may have been installed. However, people exposed to these fibers may experience health risks 20-60 years after their initial exposure. And these health risks are often quite diverse, including:
- Lung scarring throughout the tissues makes breathing harder
- Changes throughout the lung membranes, including increased thickness
- Lung cancers of many different types
- Mesothelioma, one of the most dangerous types of cancers
These many diseases typically occur in those with a higher risk of asbestos exposure or those with extended exposure. You usually see a high spike in cases among different people in various industries, including the ones that we have listed below for easier reference for your case.
Industries With a High Risk of Exposure
Understanding the different industries with a high risk of asbestos exposure is critical if you belong to any of these areas. Make sure that you get checked for asbestos right away if you have ever worked in these fields or currently have a professional in:
- Abrasive manufacturing companies
- Many types of chemical plants
- Construction companies
- Environmental inspectors
- Mining facilities
- Rust-removal professionals
- Maritime businesses
- Oil refineries
- Paper mills
- Power plants
- Railroad companies and trains
- Manufacturers of sand products
- Just about anybody on a ship
- Throughout many shipping lines
The sad fact is that many industries still use asbestos and are allowed to do so because they take steps to mitigate the risks of exposure. However, few mitigation attempts are perfect and many people may find themselves inhaling asbestos and needing help from both medical and legal experts.
What to Do If You’ve Been Exposed
Even if your asbestos exposure was decades ago, you still need to make sure that you understand the steps to take to protect yourself. The best thing to do here is to immediately visit a medical provider to learn more about this process. They can help by providing:
- Regular medical exams to spot for potential changes
- Vaccinations against lung-damaging diseases
- Help if cancer does develop
You may also want to stop smoking (if you do) and take steps to avoid further asbestos contamination. You also need to talk to mesothelioma lawyers if you develop this condition, as they will help you get compensation for this disease and make your life easier to handle if possible.