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Asbestos: A common link among several health conditions

Mar 31, 2021 | Asbestos

Every state has people who have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is naturally found in nature, but it’s usually harmless there, since it’s not in the air. Unfortunately, asbestos was used widely in building materials and products, so if it is present when a building is demolished, for example, it could become hazardous.

The likelihood of developing health issues from asbestos exposure varies based on factors such as:

  • How significant the exposure was
  • How long you were exposed
  • How frequent exposure was
  • If you smoke
  • What kind of asbestos you were exposed to
  • If you have other preexisting lung conditions

People who smoke or have lung conditions are at a higher risk of developing issues from asbestos exposure, as are those who are exposed many times or in high quantities.

What kinds of diseases can you get from asbestos exposure?

Mesothelioma is perhaps the most well-known disease linked to asbestos exposure, but it’s not the only possible illness you could develop. Other possible asbestos-related diseases include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Pleural changes
  • Pleural plaques
  • Asbestosis

These conditions may be cancerous or noncancerous. They may be serious illnesses or cause only mild discomfort for some people. Others may never develop any health problems at all.

Do you have asbestos in your home?

It is possible that asbestos could be in or around your home. It was once used heavily in roofing and siding, and it’s normal to find asbestos-based insulation in homes built between the 1930s and 1970s. Certain kinds of wall and attic insulation could contain asbestos, such as Zonolite Attic Insulation, which uses vermiculite ore and was mined between 1923 and 1990.

Asbestos may also be present in sheetrock taping compound, popcorn ceilings, textured paint, ceiling joints, artificial ashes for gas-fired fireplaces and other locations. While some uses were banned in 1977, such as using asbestos in pain, popcorn ceilings or sheetrock taping compound, not all uses have been prohibited.

If you develop mesothelioma or other health issues related to asbestos, it’s likely that you were exposed many decades ago. It may be possible to obtain compensation for exposure if a link can be established.