What are the asbestos related diseases? Asbestos related diseases are acquired through inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers. The diseases include a number of respiratory disorders, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural plaques, benign pleural effusion, and malignant mesothelioma. Asbestos is a material that was used throughout a variety of commercial and residential properties in the past. Individuals who are exposed to this material have been known to show symptoms of serious health ailments ranging from asbestosis to mesothelioma. Although these diseases may take a lengthy period of time to manifest, they are incredibly harmful and sometimes fatal.
What is Asbestos?
Before analyzing the different asbestos related diseases, it is important to understand what asbestos is. The composition of asbestos is from crystalline fibers and three of the main types are crocidolite, amosite, and chrystolite. The material was used in buildings and homes due to the fact that they are extremely resistant to fire and chemicals, not to mention that they are also great for insulation purposes. The main downside to the material is that it is incredibly toxic and quite dangerous to the environment. With hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world who have died from exposure, eradicating asbestos is now more important than ever.
Asbestos Related Diseases
- Pleural Disease. This disease pertains to the inflammation of the outer lining of the human lungs. It forces the pleura to thicken either in patches or entirely, forcing the organs to fill with fluids. This eventually leads to the inability to breathe.
- Asbestosis. The inhalation of asbestos is one of the most dangerous catalysts of asbestos related diseases. Asbestosis is when the lungs begin to scar, forcing the airways to become inflamed to the point where oxygen can no longer pass through them. Sufferers will experience a dry cough and extreme tightness in their chest. Asbestosis generally occurs in individuals who have been exposed to the material for a lengthy period of time.
- Lung Cancer. The development of lung cancer is a large possibility and it is also one of the most prevalent asbestos related diseases. The risks associated with this disease are heightened if the individual is a smoker.
- Mesothelioma. Another one of the many asbestos related diseases is mesothelioma which is cancer of the pleura. Unfortunately this disease grows and spread incredibly fast, making it difficult to treat before it has progressed to a fatal stage. If diagnosed, the average survival time for patients is between 6 and 18 months. Also, there is generally a delay in the symptoms as individuals who have been exposed to asbestos will begin to develop the cancer over 20 to 40 years later.