What are the dangers of Asbestos?
It wasn’t until the late 50’s that people started to notice that factory workers, soldiers, ship builders and construction workers (pretty much everyone who had had prolonged exposure to asbestos) started to show signs of serious sickness.
Over time, researchers realized that when asbestos materials are disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibers can be released into the air and cause dangerous exposure. When people accidentally inhale or ingest the microscopic fibers, the mineral can get lodged in the lining of the lungs, esophagus and even the digestion track, eventually leading to serious health problems. Asbestos is perhaps best known for its role in causing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer that can develop in linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.
Microscopic asbestos fibers cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, and asbestos exposure does not cause any immediate symptoms, so it is easy for a person to inhale or swallow asbestos dust without realizing it. Once asbestos fibers are in the body, they never dissolve, and the body has extreme difficulty expelling them. Over years of time, trapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage to the body’s cells. Asbestos exposure can take from 10 to 40 years to develop signs.
Asbestos was used in thousands of commercial products and industrial capacities and those working with the material in these industries are potentially at risk of harmful exposure.