Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are mined or released from native rock sources. There are many types of asbestos fibers, but only a few are of commercial importance. Because asbestos is a good insulator and fire resistant, various industries used them and continue to use them in some form. Asbestos can be found in roofing, floor covering, insulations, car brakes, and heat related materials.
Asbestos particles enter your airways and settle deep into the lungs. Because asbestos fibers are durable, the immune system cannot break them down. As a result, the lungs become damaged and form scar tissue. This becomes known as asbestosis.
You can be exposed to asbestos fibers through airborne exposure. During a demolition or repair, asbestos fibers are released into the environment. The fibers then enter the airways and remain deep in the lungs for a lifetime. Additionally, exposure can also occur through clothing and skin.
Individuals who work in the following industries, but not limited to:
Others are families of workers in these industries. Individuals exposed to asbestos from nearby asbestos plants are also at risk.
People exposed to asbestos have an increased chance of developing two types of cancer: lung cancer and mesothelioma. Lung cancer begins in the lung tissue. Mesothelioma grows from the tissues surrounding the lung or other organs.
Both lung cancer and mesothelioma are usually fatal. These diseases from asbestos may develop 20 to 50 years after exposure. Tobacco users exposed to asbestos have a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
After an examination, a physician may order the following, but not limited to: