When materials containing asbestos are disturbed through sanding, drilling, breakage or just degradation over time, asbestos fibers, thinner than a human hair, are released into the air—and into the lungs of those exposed to the hazardous material.
Asbestos Exposure Health Risks
These fibers lodge in the respiratory system and have been shown to cause:
- Cancer, including Mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity and abdomen as well as cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, throat, kidney, brain, bladder, voice box and gallbladder.
- Asbestosis, an inflammatory condition of the lungs that can cause coughing, shortness of breath and lung scarring, which make breathing difficult.
- Pleural plaques, a thickening of the membranes that surround the lungs.
- Pleural effusions, abnormal fluid collection between the inside chest wall and the lungs.
- Pneumonia, an inflammation of the lung that can affect just one lobe of the right or left lung, a whole lung, or both lungs.