The Dangers of Asbestos

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					Once asbestos was found to be heat and fire resistant, it has been widely
used. Unfortunately, as we later found, it can cause a myriad of health
problems, including cancer.Asbestos has been in widespread use since the
late 1800's. It is heat and fire resistant, and very versatile, making it
very attractive to manufacturers regardless of the long-term health
risks. Limitations were placed on the manufacture of new products
containing asbestos in the 1980's but it can still be found in older
homes and buildings, older products, and some new products. Symptoms of
asbestos related illness often do not show up for 10 to 50 years after
exposure, and once they do, illness can progress rapidly.Asbestos related
illnessesAsbestos causes illness hen the fibers get into your body,
usually by inhalation, but they can also be ingested. Health problems
caused by asbestos include:· Asbestosis (scarring of the lungs) · Heart
failure· Kidney cancer· Larynx cancer· Lung cancer· Mesothelioma· Other
cancersMesothelioma is cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It affects the
lining around your organs. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane
lining the lungs and is the most common form of mesothelioma. It is not
the same as lung cancer. Mesothelioma is fatal, there is no cure, and it
is excruciatingly painful.Symptoms of asbestos related illnessAfter
asbestos exposure, symptoms can take 10 to 50 years to appear. According
to the National Cancer Institute, symptoms of asbestos related illnesses
include:· Shortness of breath· A cough or a change in cough pattern·
Blood in the fluid coughed up from the lungs· Pain in the chest or
abdomen· Difficulty in swallowing· Prolonged hoarseness· Significant
weight lossWho is at risk? Anyone can be exposed to asbestos. It is in
the materials our homes and schools were built with. It is in many common
household items. Due to its heat and fire resistance, it is use more
heavily in certain industries. Jobs, industries, and work environments
which carry an elevated risk of asbestos exposure include: · Appliance
manufacturing· Asbestos removal· Construction· Demolition· Mining· Oil
refineries· Shipyards· Steel mills· Power plants· Railroads· Automotive
manufacturing and repairThousands of products contain asbestos, possibly
over 5,000. Many are common household items including: · Oven mitts·
Ironing board covers· Toasters· Hair dryers· Chalkboards· Potting soil·
Rope· Yarn· Fake snowRemodeling you homeRemodeling your home can release
asbestos fibers that were sealed and contained. This is most likely to
happen in older homes. When asbestosis is sealed, it does not cause harm.
When you tear into construction materials containing asbestos it can let
loose a shower of fibers instantly exposing you and your family. If you
suspect that your home may contain asbestos, talk to an asbestos
abatement professional before remodeling your home and do not try to
remove the asbestos yourself.

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