Asbestos-caused Lung Cancer: Understanding Risks and Prevention

Asbestos-caused Lung Cancer: Understanding Risks and Prevention

Asbestos-caused Lung Cancer: Understanding Risks and Prevention

Lung cancer is a devastating disease that claims the lives of millions of people worldwide each year. While smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer, exposure to certain pollutants, such as asbestos, can also significantly increase the risk of developing this deadly disease. Asbestos is known for its heat-resistant properties and was widely used in construction and various industries. Understanding the connection between lung cancer and asbestos exposure is crucial to protect ourselves and take precautionary measures to safeguard our health.

Asbestos was commonly used in the past for insulation, fireproofing, and other construction purposes due to its strength and heat-resistant properties.

When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or damaged, tiny fibers are released into the air, and can become trapped in the lungs when inhaled or ingested. As time passes, these fibers can induce inflammation and scarring, which can ultimately result in severe health conditions, such as lung cancer. It’s important to note that asbestos exposure does not cause immediate symptoms; it may take several years or even decades for lung cancer to develop after exposure.

The exposure to asbestos in the workplace has been a major concern for specific industries like construction, shipbuilding, mining, and manufacturing. Employees in these sectors may have encountered direct contact with asbestos fibers while dealing with materials containing asbestos. Moreover, there’s a possibility of secondary exposure, where workers unknowingly carried asbestos fibers home on their clothing, potentially putting their family members at risk.

Prevention is the key to reducing the risk of lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Here are some essential steps to take:

  • Identify and Manage Asbestos-Containing Materials: If you live or work in an older building, have it inspected by professionals to determine if asbestos is present. If asbestos-containing material is identified, it should be properly managed or removed by trained specialists.
  • Use Protective Equipment: For those working in industries where asbestos exposure is a risk, using appropriate protective equipment, such as respirators and disposable coveralls, can help minimize exposure.
  • Follow Safety Guidelines: Companies and industries must adhere to safety regulations regarding asbestos handling and disposal to protect workers and the public.
  • Raise Awareness: Educate employees and the public about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the importance of taking precautions.

Lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure is a serious health issue. Understanding the risks associated with asbestos and taking proactive measures can help safeguard individuals from this life-threatening disease. Raising awareness, implementing safety regulations, and promoting responsible asbestos management are vital steps in protecting the health of workers and communities alike.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, you could be entitled to compensation. Call 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form to speak to a member of our team.

Ahn YS, Kang SK. “Asbestos-related occupational cancers compensated under the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance in Korea. Ind Health” Industrial health, 47(2), 113–122. (2009) [Link]
Hillerdal G, Karlén E, Aberg T. “Tobacco consumption and asbestos exposure in patients with lung cancer: A three year prospective study” British journal of industrial medicine, 40(4), 380–383. (1983) [Link]
Raffn E, Lynge E, Korsgaard B. “Incidence of lung cancer by histological type among asbestos cement workers in Denmark” British journal of industrial medicine, 50(1), 85–89. (1993)  [Link]
Warnock ML, Isenberg W “Asbestos burden and the pathology of lung cancer” Chest, 89(1), 20–26. (1986) [Link]

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