What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a chemical and fire retardant mineral substance, which was first advertised as a “miracle product.” Manufacturers claimed it would revolutionize the insulation industry.
Where is asbestos found?
Asbestos can be found in a variety of trades including, but not limited to:
- Steel mills
- Oil refineries
- Power plants
- Asbestos manufacturing
Asbestos was also found as late as 1980 in common household appliances such as hairdryers, toasters and other items such as jewelry. It was also utilized in many homes, in the form of duct tape, heating ducts, stove top pads, fireproof gloves and textured paints.
What harm can asbestos cause?
Research has shown that when asbestos was marketed in the 1920s, manufacturers hid knowledge that asbestos can flake off and become inhaled. When this occurs, they cannot be exhaled and are caught in the lining of the lungs where they cause irreparable scarring. In many instances, the scarring can be fatal by itself, but it can also cause several types of lung cancer, such as mesothelioma. The number of deaths from asbestos related diseases has skyrocketed since the beginning of the 21st century. While it is very important to take care of yourself and see your medical doctor for checkups, regular medical attention is critical if you fall into one of the career categories known for asbestos exposure.
What is the difference between asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma?
Many are not aware that there are differences between the three most common asbestos related diseases: asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Doctors categorize the diseases by levels of severity, although all result from inhaling asbestos fibers.
Asbestosis occurs when someone has had prolonged exposure to asbestos. This exposure results in a chronic respiratory disease, which typically makes patients more likely to develop lung cancer in the future.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which occurs in a protective lining known as the mesothelium. After asbestos exposure, fibers can become lodged in the lining and eventually become cancerous. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which occurs in the lining of the lungs and chest. This disease is not considered to be lung cancer due to the fact that it does not originate in the lung tissue.
Lung cancer differs from mesothelioma in that it results from asbestos lodged in lung tissue, rather than in the mesothelium lining. This type of cancer can also be caused by factors other than asbestos exposure, such as smoking.
If you have any questions in regard to this information, or believe that you may have an asbestos case, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (631) 543-3663.