Each year, thousands of workers and building occupants are unknowingly exposed to the deadly mineral asbestos. The National Cancer Institute of the U.S. National Institute of Health estimates that millions of people have been exposed in total since the 1940s.
These exposures have not ceased, such as how 70 percent of World Trade Center first-responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks suffered new or worsened respiratory symptoms due to coming into contact with massive levels of asbestos which turned into toxic dust clouds.
Exposure to asbestos can occur multiple ways, with the most common being inhalation. Learn more about how how your body can be exposed to asbestos below.
Inhaling asbestos is by far the most common and most deadly risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers can separate into the microscopic level, allowing them to become airborne and inhaled. Once inhaled, they can become stuck within tissues and impossible to extract, especially within the lungs’ alveoli sacks.
Asbestos-containing products do not always eject asbestos into the air under normal conditions. Instead, they must become deteriorated with age or disturbed by direct handling. These conditions happen quite frequently when workers are responsible for altering or demolishing structures built with asbestos-containing products.
Forces like air friction or disturbance by pests can also cause asbestos fibers to eject, making older buildings or portions of buildings containing asbestos products much more likely to have airborne fibers.
When inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause severe health consequences that lead to deadly diagnoses of mesothelioma or lung cancer and other severe health conditions. Review the health risks of asbestos to learn more in detail.
Swallowing asbestos is somewhat common, especially as asbestos enters the mouth and becomes trapped in saliva. Eating foods or drinking liquids contaminated with asbestos is also possible, too, especially if asbestos-containing products were used in the manufacture or transport of the items.
Asbestos fibers that get swallowed often become trapped in mucus and coughed up later. The majority of asbestos that makes it to the stomach is passed through the digestive system without becoming embedded in the body.
However, some fibers may become stuck in the esophagus, intestines, stomach or other bodily organs. Asbestos fibers can also find their way into the kidneys and urinary tract. The link between this type of embedded exposure and cancer is vague, with limited conclusive evidence.
Skin Contact with Asbestos
Similar to fiberglass, asbestos fibers can become embedded in the skin upon physical contact and may be difficult to remove. Almost none of this material gets passed further into the body, but it can become difficult to remove.
Repeated or severe skin contact with asbestos can lead to the growth of non-malignant “asbestos warts” that are frequently non-cancerous, but can be painful or debilitating in extreme instances.
Asbestos Exposure Through Using Asbestos-Containing Products
Certain products may contain or be contaminated with asbestos, leading to exposure. Products with the mineral talc are a notable example, such as talcum powders or powder-based makeups manufactured before the 1980s.
Long-term exposure to these products could lead to inhalation, swallowing or other internal absorption of asbestos fibers. The exposure will have corresponding health consequences, such as inhaled asbestos leading to a higher risk of mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a cancer condition related to asbestos exposure, act now. Contacting Mesowatch today enables you to receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation.
Our nationwide team of experienced mesothelioma lawyers can determine all potentially liable parties and quickly pursue the maximum possible compensation for your losses.
Every claim is unique and getting connected with an experienced mesothelioma law firm is a highly important factor when filing an asbestos lawsuit. Contact us now to start your case today.