Asbestos is a mineral composed of flexible and soft fibers that are resistant to corrosion, heat, and electricity. Although these qualities make asbestos a useful mineral, asbestos exposure is highly toxic. For a long time, asbestos was used in construction, fireproofing, and insulation.
Unfortunately, many individuals assume that asbestos exposure is a thing of the past while it remains a deadly public health concern. Even though scientists have long recognized the dangers of asbestos exposure and made these dangers known, asbestos-related illnesses and deaths remain a big concern. According to recent data, more than 40,000 asbestos-related deaths occurred in 2019 alone. Some of the common fatal asbestos-related diseases include asbestosis and mesothelioma.
There are many things users do not know about asbestos, yet it is important to be knowledgeable about this toxic substance. By being knowledgeable, you can take the necessary precautions against asbestos.
Below are five crucial things you may not know about asbestos.
There is Never a Safe Level of Asbestos Exposure
According to the United States Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA), there is never a “safe” level of asbestos exposure. Even being exposed to asbestos for as little as a few days can result in asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.
The United States Imports Asbestos and Asbestos-Containing Products
According to the United States Geological Survey, 300 metric tons of chrysotile, the only type of raw asbestos still being imported into the U.S., were imported into the nation in 2020 alone. Apart from chrysotile, the U.S imports asbestos-containing products such as gaskets and vehicle parts.
Asbestos Becomes Dangerous When Disturbed
Generally, asbestos only becomes hazardous when disturbed. Usually, it is better to leave asbestos undisturbed than to remove it improperly. Asbestos poses a health hazard when disturbed, and asbestos fibers become airborne where people can inhale them.
The Most Common Way for Asbestos to Get Into the Human Body is Through Breathing
As already mentioned, asbestos-containing material is generally not harmful unless it releases fibers into the air where they can be inhaled. When breathed, asbestos fibers can become trapped in the body. If trapped in the mucous membranes of the throat and nose, asbestos fibers can be removed. On the other hand, if asbestos fibers pass deep into the lungs, they will most likely become trapped in the human body, where they can cause health problems.
It Can Take Decades for a Person to Notice Symptoms Related to Asbestos Exposure
According to the American Cancer Society, an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma can take a long time to develop after asbestos exposure. The time between the first exposure and diagnosis can be anywhere between 20 and 50 years.
It is crucial to keep in mind that the risk of mesothelioma does not reduce over time after asbestos exposure stops. The risk seems to be lifelong.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.