Are you worried about asbestos?
It is a valid concern since over 30 million homes still have asbestos within. Worse, some consumer products like children’s toys and makeup contain this harmful substance. However, you might not know the full extent of asbestos risks.
Fortunately, our guide can help. Read on as we discuss why asbestos is dangerous to your health. We will also discuss some tips to find the best contractors to remove asbestos:
1. Pleural Plaques
Your pleura is the two-layered membrane that surrounds your lungs. Meanwhile, pleural plaques are patches of tough tissue forming on your chest wall. These are well-defined, thickened areas similar to calluses found on other body parts.
Sometimes, the plaques calcify, making them visible on x-ray diagrams. In most cases, you do not feel discomfort or breathlessness when you have pleural plaques. For this reason, you are unlikely to know you have them.
Pleural plaques are the least severe consequences of asbestos exposure. On their own, they pose no danger to your health. However, they act more as indicator asbestos exists within your home.
When you have pleural plaques, it is likely for you to develop other asbestos diseases.
2. Diffuse Pleural Thickening
This condition looks similar to pleural plaques. However, the thickening effect spreads to a larger area. It could cause both layers of pleura to become affected.
One or both lungs can suffer from this condition, as with pleural plaques. The thickening can cause breathlessness since it is more widespread and severe. Some doctors can identify fibrosis through clinical exams, but a proper diagnosis involves using x-rays.
Sometimes, your pleural cavity will have a buildup of fluid before pleural thickening starts. When you have pleural effusion, you will feel breathless. When it becomes severe enough, you will experience pain.
The worst part is pleural plaques only happen at least a decade after asbestos exposure. Consider learning where and how to find asbestos to address the problem at its core.
Asbestosis is the most recognizable disease due to asbestos. However, most people develop a misconception that it is a form of cancer. The good news is it isn’t as severe and incurable.
Regardless, this disease damages the lungs because of your body’s inflammatory reaction to asbestos in its fibrous form. As a result, scar tissue will build up in the tissue between your lung’s air sacs.
When the fibrosis builds up, your lung elasticity becomes lower. With stiff lungs, it becomes harder to inflate whenever you breathe. Aside from breathlessness after exertion, you will experience chest tightness and dry cough.
If you do not deal with asbestosis, it will become more severe. It will continue to worsen even after you stop exposing yourself to asbestos. The damage is irreversible.
The rate of progression will vary, as well as the disease’s effects on your breathing. In general, asbestosis takes around 20 years to develop. It often develops sooner when you do not seek medical help.
4. Asbestos-Based Lung Cancer
When you work with asbestos, you will have an increased risk of lung cancer. Over 200,000 new cases of this disease appear every year. The rate becomes exponential when you are a smoker.
Usually, it is difficult for doctors to differentiate between asbestos and smoking as causes of lung cancer. A homeowner who does not smoke but gets lung cancer should consider asbestos as the culprit.
The treatment for lung cancer is generally the same, regardless of whether it is due to asbestos or smoking. As long as the diagnosis is early, the chances of successful treatment are better.
Early lung cancer is curable through surgery, while other forms use chemotherapy. Often, doctors will recommend using radiotherapy to improve lung cancer symptoms.
Does asbestos cause Mesothelioma? The answer is a resounding yes. Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer, also known as diffuse or malignant Mesothelioma.
Often, this disease will affect the lining of your lungs. However, it can also affect the lining of your abdomen. In rarer cases, Mesothelioma will affect the area surrounding your heart.
The worst parts about this cancer are its aggressiveness and lack of cure. It takes around 50 years for Mesothelioma to develop. No other conditions can exacerbate your risks aside from asbestos exposure, even for a short while.
As such, Mesothelioma does not relate to asbestos dosage rates. As long as you get exposed to the harmful substance, you are at risk. Smoking cigarettes will not cause you to develop this disease.
A lot of people passed away from this cancer because they lived near asbestos factories. An early sign of Mesothelioma is a buildup of fluid around the lung or the abdomen. It causes both pain and breathlessness.
As said above, there is no treatment for this cancer. However, a lot of research and trials are happening across the globe. Some treatments deal with symptoms, like getting rid of fluid buildups.
Pleurodesis is a procedure to prevent fluid buildup in the pleural cavity. It controls the pain associated with Mesothelioma.
How to Find the Best Asbestos Removal Companies
Now you know what asbestos is, it is time to get rid of it in your home. Your first step is to look for a reputable asbestos removal contractor. It helps to ask your family and friends since they might have some recommendations.
When that fails, use the power of the internet to find trustworthy companies. Go to Google and do a local search of the companies near your location. Often, the search engine will display star ratings and customer reviews of these listings.
After making a shortlist, contact each company and inquire about their insurance and licenses. Ask for cost estimates to get an idea of the average price.
Learn Why Asbestos is Dangerous Now
These are the reasons why asbestos is dangerous. When you suspect asbestos, consider asking for reputable companies to inspect your home. It is better to spend money to ensure you’re asbestos-free than suffer later.
Do you need asbestos cleaning services? If so, contact us today and let us help.