Health Concerns Related to Asbestos
There are many health concerns directly connected to asbestos exposure including: Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, and Asbestosis. As we discussed in our last post, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was often used in residential and commercial construction till the 1980s because of its resistance to fire and heat. Though generally safe if undisturbed, exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health consequences if it is agitated during home renovation or natural disasters.
History of Health and Asbestos
Doctors began seeing the connection between asbestos and health issues as early as the late 19th century. In the 1920s and 30s major medical journals published articles demonstrating the link between various cancers and asbestos. By 1942 doctors observed that lung cancer was exasperated by asbestos exposure. In 1964 Mesothelioma was linked to asbestos exposure. Since then it has become clear that Mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos.
Prominent Asbestos Related Illnesses
Some prominent illnesses related to asbestos exposure:
- Mesothelioma: There is no known cure for mesothelioma. Symptoms of it can take between 20 and 50 years to develop after time of exposure. There are over 3,000 people diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. With no known cure, treatments only serve to make patients more comfortable.
- Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that is responsible for 13,000 U.S. deaths between 1995 and 2004. Like mesothelioma, asbestosis has no known cure. Symptoms may not arise for several decades after a person is exposed to asbestos.
- Lung Cancer: Though not exclusively caused by asbestos, lung cancer can be exasperated by asbestos exposure, especially when combined with smoking.
If your home or commercial property was built before 1980, there is a good chance asbestos products were used during construction. Asbestos is generally safe if left undisturbed; however, before you renovate, call an asbestos removal and abatement specialist like Remtech Environmental to have your property tested. It can save you lot of money in the long run, and be better for your heatlh.