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About Asbestos and Related Health Problems

Asbestos has been used for more than 2.000 years, but the heavy use between1880s and 1960s has caused severe medical problems. People working with asbestoswere exposed to large quantities of the substance and thus suffer fromasbestosis (non-cancerous lung disease) and mesothelioma (form of lung cancer).Since asbestos was so heavily used, scientists claim that epidemic ofasbestos-related disease will continue for the next 20 years.

This substance is not is use anymore, so the number of people getting sickfrom asbestos exposure has decreased significantly. However, there is stillsome asbestos insulation and floor and ceiling tiles made with asbestos, leftin older building and these should be carefully removed, according to theregulations. Construction workers involved in demolition of such buildings mustbe protected, as regulated by the guidelines of The Occupational Safety andHealth Administration (OSHA).

Inhalation of asbestos fibers is known to be the primary cause of mesotheliomaasbestos. When working with this substance, tiny asbestos fibers can easily getinto the lungs. Fibers are very small and the lungs can’t filtrate them. Due tothat fact these fibers become embedded into the tissue of the lungs and maystay in the lungs for many decades (30, 40 and up to 60 years after theinhalation). The body can’t destroy them efficiently and these fibers areresponsible for mesothelioma of the lung tissue or pleural mesothelioma.

Pleural Mesothelioma

This is one of the most common types of mesothelioma caused by inhalation ofasbestos. It is often seen in people working with asbestos fibers, including:laborers in Navy shipyards, construction and automotive manufacturing workers,asbestos miners and people living near asbestos mines.

In Navy shipyards, people worked with asbestos to insulate areas of intenseheat, such as boilers and piping. All these workers and miners, as well aspeople in towns near asbestos mines, inhaled asbestos dust, which is why many ofthem developed mesothelioma of the lungs.

Pericardial and Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Cancer appearing in the lining of the heart is known as pericardialmesothelioma, and the one that appear in lining of the abdomen is calledperitoneal mesothelioma. Both of these mesotheliomas are linked to exposure toasbestos, although there is no proper explanation how did the fibers get to theheart or abdomen lining. Some suggest that food contaminated with asbestos orasbestos fibers that got into the blood may be the cause for these medicalproblems.

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