Understanding the risks of asbestos exposure

May 1, 2020 | Asbestos

The likelihood of asbestos exposure varies depending on people’s trade and the kinds of responsibilities they are in charge of when they go to work each day. Workers in Missouri who understand the risks of asbestos exposure and what signs and symptoms to watch for can more effectively monitor their health. 

If people begin to notice discomfort that matches the description of an asbestos-related disease, they should contact their health care provider immediately. Timely response and treatment make a difference in how evasive evolving health conditions progress. 

The danger of asbestos 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, exposure to asbestos can manifest itself in varying degrees including diseases as serious as lung cancer and mesothelioma, to other health conditions such as asbestosis and pleural effusion. Treatments can include chemotherapy and oxygen therapy and often must be regularly maintained to prevent worsening health conditions. 

The dangerous side effects of asbestos exposure were not recognized until the 1970s when researchers started connecting sick people with similar health problems to their level of exposure to asbestos. Rocks and soil contain the mineral asbestos. Prior to the recognition of its dangerous side effects, people used asbestos to create construction materials. 

Recognizing symptoms of asbestos exposure 

Mayo Clinic provides a well-rounded list of workers who are at a higher exposure than others of coming in contact with asbestos. These workers include electricians, construction workers, railroad workers and auto mechanics among others. Symptoms of asbestos exposure include a dry cough, chest pain, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. Research suggests that smoking can worsen asbestos-related symptoms.