Since the mid-1970s, imports and use of asbestos in the United States have declined dramatically and alternative insulation materials have been developed. However, it is still used in some products and it is still possible to be exposed to asbestos in older buildings, water pipes and other environments. The use of asbestos has been banned in the European Union since 2005, although the ban did not require the removal of asbestos that already existed. If you have been exposed to asbestos during your work, talk to your healthcare provider. Asbestos can cause various health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer.
Small material surfaces such as pipe insulation can be covered by wrapping a special fabric around it, such as a retractable glass cloth. These products are available in stores (listed in the Teams and Safety Clothing telephone service) that specialize in asbestos materials and safety devices. Some studies have also suggested that exposure to asbestos in the workplace may be related to other cancers, including cancer of the pharynx, stomach, colon and rectum. However, the relationship between these cancers and asbestos is not as clear as for the other cancers discussed here.
These diseases can lead to decreased respiratory function and death. Prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. As a result, the Institute for Health Effects has convened a panel to assess the lifelong cancer risk of the building’s general residents and service representatives. Inhalation of asbestos fibers has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in many studies of workers exposed to asbestos.
It may take several years to detect signs of asbestos-related diseases. Lung or pleural scars may not affect your general health, but severe scars, lung cancer or mesothelioma may. It all depends on the severity of your condition, general health and other risk factors.
It is important to comply with federal safety regulations regarding the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials to minimize health risks. There is a high risk of exposure to asbestos fibers in the air if the correct reduction procedures are not followed. People are mainly exposed to asbestos in the workplace, also known as occupational exposure to asbestos, through direct or indirect exposure to asbestos products. Employees can also bring asbestos home and cause secondary exposure to asbestos in family members. People can be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, community or homes.
Contact details for state worker officials can be found on the website of the United States Department of Labor. While it is clear that the health risks of asbestos exposure increase with stronger exposure and longer asbestos management company exposure time, researchers have found asbestos-related diseases in individuals with only short exposures. In general, those who develop asbestos-related diseases do not show any symptoms long after exposure.
A bronchoscopy is a less invasive test than a biopsy and detects asbestos fibers in the material that washes out of the lungs . It is important to note that these procedures cannot determine how much asbestos a person may have been exposed to or whether a disease will develop. Asbestos fibers can also be detected in urine, mucus and feces, but these tests are not reliable in determining how much asbestos can be in an individual’s lungs . People involved in the rescue, recovery and cleanup at the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City are another group at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Because asbestos was used in the construction of the WTC North Tower, hundreds of tons of asbestos were released into the atmosphere during the attack of the building. The most risky are firefighters, police, paramedics, construction workers and volunteers who have worked through the rubble in Ground Zero.
The fibers can stay there for a long time, increasing the risk of disease. Asbestos material that would easily crumble if treated or sawn, scraped or sanded is more likely to pose a health hazard. To reduce this risk, most jobs using asbestos materials cause workers to change when they arrive and leave work. Most companies also have showers available for employees to clean hair and skin particles. Trained employees who wear protective clothing wash contaminated clothing.
Reducing exposure to asbestos is the best prevention against asbestosis. In the United States, federal law requires employers in industries that work with asbestos products, such as construction, to take special security measures. Asbestos can fill the air when buildings are demolished and houses are renovated.