Many people wonder how much asbestos exposure is dangerous. The answer is any more exposure than none. A single exposure can cause a person to develop mesothelioma. The odds of getting this rare form of cancer go up with each moment spent in the presence of asbestos, of course, but if you have ever been exposed, you are in danger.
Asbestos was a wildly popular substance before its link to cancer was discovered. It appeared in a host of products and was considered a wondrous substance in its time. Asbestos could be obtained relatively cheaply and had impressive fire retardant and insulating properties. It was strong, versatile and cheap. Because of its useful properties, asbestos fibers were used in roofing, flooring, packing, and building materials. It appeared in adhesives, insulation, rope, automotive products, paint, cement and more. For several decades, it was put in virtually every home and building constructed in the United States.
The asbestos minerals can break up into very tiny fibers. These fibers, when inhaled, get trapped in the body and start to cause problems. They irritate the flesh and cause inflammation. The affected cells deform and, in some cases, become cancerous. Mesothelioma in the lungs, abdomen or heart is the result for some of those exposed.
Mesothelioma is thankfully rare. There is no successful treatment for the disease and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is somewhere between 9 months and 2 years. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the culprit is asbestos exposure. You need to seek medical and legal help as soon as possible.
Source: KSL.com, “How asbestos exposure leads to mesothelioma,” by Suzanne Carlile, 15 September 2014