Asbestos and Asbestosis


It is common knowledge that asbestos can be harmful to a person’s health if he/she is exposed to the airborne fibers long enough. Unfortunately, public awareness has bred some misinformation about asbestos. These are some of the common myths.

First, a newly-built home or business is not necessarily asbestos free. A 2014 HSE survey shows that only 15% of people knew that asbestos-based products were in use until 2000.

Second, some believe that anyone can safely handle asbestos if they open a window or drink water afterwards. These are absolutely untrue. Asbestos removal requires strict guidelines and specially designed clothing and masks to avoid the risk of asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Third, mesothelioma is not contagious. It is not like a viral infection so can’t be spread by someone who has this condition. However, if a person lives with someone who unintentionally brings home items or clothing contaminated with the asbestos fibers, it can be contracted in this way.

Fourth, if you find asbestos-based products in your home, do not try to remove it yourself. Unless they are damaged there is no immediate health risk. In any event, if you start ripping out contaminated floor tiles or insulation, the resulting dust will increase your risk dramatically. Contact an asbestos abatement service right away and let them deal with it safely.

Lastly, wearing a mask does not abolish the risk in handing asbestos yourself. Professionals in the field wear specially-designed filtration masks to avoid inhaling asbestos. Standard masks from the DIY shop do not protect you.

An average of 20 people per week contract an asbestos related condition. As awareness and valid information increases, the risks should diminish. Safe removal of asbestos or asbestos-based materials requires the expertise of a professional who is trained in asbestos remediation procedures. Let our fully trained and experienced staff at Think Asbestos help you deal with asbestos materials in your business or residence.

The symptoms of asbestosis

Asbestosis is a terrible condition, and people should learn to read the signs for this disease.  Unfortunately, since these signs can resemble a respiratory condition, the true problem is seldom caught and treated. This is a listing of physical symptoms to look for:

  • Shortness of breath.

Shortness of breath is one of the main signs of asbestosis, which occurs as a direct result of inhaling the fibers over a long period of time and can lead to chronic fatigue.

  • Swelling around neck and face

Another result of inhaling asbestos fibers is increased blood pressure and can causes sufferers to retain fluid around heart and lungs, which causes the swelling.

  • Crackling breath

Asbestos fibers in the lungs causes scarring and inflammation which can inhibit transmission of oxygen into the bloodstream. This condition can cause dry, crackling noises when a person inhales.

  • Bloated abdomen

Asbestos can disrupt the body’s natural processes, leading to fluid developing in the abdomen which leads to bloating and tenderness in addition to a loss of appetite.

When any of these symptoms are shown, you should contact a physician immediately, so you can receive the appropriate medical treatment. For more information about asbestosis, about asbestos remediation procedures, or if you believe asbestos-based materials may be in your residence or place of business then contact us right away, by phone or e-mail.

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