Asbestos related illness.

We have already established the three main types of asbestos and where it originates from in an earlier Manners Pimblett article. Now we are going to focus on asbestos related illness. There is no doubting that asbestos has fantastic properties - but likewise there is no detracting from the human impact of working with asbestos. This article delves into the illnesses that are associated with asbestos.

We never learn.

It is true that as a species - human beings never learn. This is certainly a fact about asbestos use in the late twentieth century. History dictated to us that early use of asbestos caused premature death for those who directly handled it. As far back as the early Greek philosophers, who aptly noted that miners of the precious and clever material (Asbestos) suffered premature death or intolerable illness.

Across the ages Asbestos continued to be used, as a candle wick or table cloth (they used to burn the asbestos table cloths clean!) for the Romans, to suits of armour in medieval times. Asbestos has been used and in each age the result has been premature death or respiratory illness. Then the 1800's and 1900's to the late 1960's witnessed proliferation of the use of asbestos in building methods.

Types of Asbestos related illness.

Asbestosis is caused by repeated or prolonged exposure to asbestos. Symptoms can take decade to present - however asbestosis is one of the more lethal asbestos related illnesses.

There are three stages to asbestosis:
Early stages.

  • Dry cough.
  • Feeling out of breath or out of shape and feeling tired.
  • Wheezing can occur if the asbestos victim is also a smoker.

Mid stage

  • Frequent feeling out of breath, even when resting.
  • Occasional chest pain and not being able to fill lungs.
  • Pitted fingernails or clubbed fingers - indicating lack of oxygen to extremities.
  • Positive MRI scan demonstrating damage or scarred tissue to a cross section of the asbestos victims lungs. Lungs take on a honey comb appearance.

Advanced stage

  • Severe chest pain, feeling like pressure is being placed on the chest.
  • Difficulty in sleeping - needing to sleep without being fully reclined for comfort.
  • Swelling of hands feet and ankles.
  • Coughing up blood and fluid from lungs.
  • Recurring infections to respiratory system.

Mesothelioma Asbestos Cancer is on the rise. Although it is a rare form of cancer its symptoms like asbestosis rarely present themselves for decades after exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lungs and the stomach lining. Mesothelioma is more prevalent in men than women.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

  • Shortness of breath
  • A persistent cough
  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Clacking noise in lungs when breathing in.

The long term prognosis of Asbestos related injuries is always based on the individual. Invariably it is always made worse by the lateness in presentation of symptoms.

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