Asbestos Awareness Week 2022

First Discoveries of Diseases Caused By Asbestos

Asbestos Awareness Week 2022

Today is the start of Asbestos Awareness Week. Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that was used in different industries for its unique heat resistant and fire-resistant properties. Asbestos is classified as either serpentine (curly fibers) or amphibole (skinny, straight fibers). There are six types of asbestos, most of them are amphibole including amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite while chrysotile is serpentine. Asbestos has been used for a very long time. There are records of it being used during the stone age, and people knew back then that it was dangerous. Slaves were given respirators made from goat bladders to protect themselves while asbestos was woven into fabric.

Despite people knowing asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen, industries used it for insulation and other products. Pipes and boilers were insulated with the substance while cement, roof shingles, tiles, siding, stucco, and plaster were made from asbestos. Naval ships were also loaded with asbestos, leading to people in the military being exposed to the substance on a daily basis. Other consumer products like cigarette filters, hair dryers, and fake snow utilized asbestos. Companies selling these products knew people were becoming sick from these products, but they kept using it to protect their bottom line.

Asbestos is very dangerous because it is made up of microscopic fibers. When asbestos is disturbed, the fibers become airborne, leading to people inhaling or ingesting them. Once inside the body, the fibers become lodged in the lungs and pleura. The body cannot break the fibers down or remove them, so over time, the fibers cause DNA changes in cells. This leads to cancer in the lungs and plural mesothelium primarily, but asbestos can cause peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular mesothelioma as well. Ingested asbestos fibers can also cause throat, laryngeal, and colorectal cancer.

Many people don’t know they were exposed to asbestos until many years later after a cancer diagnosis. Once people learn they have mesothelioma, they are surprised to learn that companies allowed them to work with such a dangerous material unprotected. Mesothelioma is a very severe and incurable cancer because once people are diagnosed, they do not live long after the diagnosis. Companies need to stop using products with asbestos and the sale and use of the substance needs to be banned. Once we cut out asbestos from society completely, peoples’ health and well-being will improve dramatically.

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another cancer, you could be entitled to compensation. Companies knowingly let their workers get sick so they could make a profit. Contact us today if you have one of the above cancers and we will do whatever we can to help, even if you don’t know if you were exposed to asbestos. Call 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.  We will help determine if you were likely exposed to asbestos and could be entitled to compensation.

Source:
“Asbestos Facts” Asbestos Nation [Link]
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