What are the three main health hazards of asbestos?
If you breathe asbestos fibers, you may increase the risk of several serious diseases, including asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos exposure may increase your risk for cancers of the digestive system, including colon cancer.
Is there a medical test for asbestos exposure?
There is no single test to confirm asbestos exposure, but diagnostic tests for asbestos-related diseases effectively serve this purpose. Mesothelioma doctors assume the patient was exposed to asbestos when an examination reveals an asbestos-related condition.
Where do you get exposure to asbestos?
People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time.
What are the human health impacts associated with asbestos exposure?
In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, asbestos exposure can also cause cancer of the larynx and ovary. Current evidence also suggests asbestos exposure may cause cancer of the pharynx, stomach, and colorectum. People concerned about asbestos exposure should visit their doctor or other medical provider.
Who is most at risk for asbestos?
Currently, the people most heavily exposed to asbestos in the United States are those in construction trades. This population includes an estimated 1.3 million construction workers as well as workers in building and equipment maintenance [American Thoracic Society 2004].
What happens if you breathe in asbestos?
Asbestosis (as-bes-TOE-sis) is a chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Prolonged exposure to these fibers can cause lung tissue scarring and shortness of breath. Asbestosis symptoms can range from mild to severe, and usually don’t appear until many years after initial exposure.
What is the best treatment for asbestosis?
There is no treatment that can reverse the damage done by asbestos, but certain steps can help slow down progression of the disease and relieve symptoms. Avoiding further exposure to asbestos and other irritants such as cigarette smoke will help slow down the disease from progressing.
What kind of mask is used for asbestos?
Respirators are used to purify the air you are breathing. The most common respirator is a half face, dual cartridge respirator. Respirators must be equipped with HEPA filtered cartridges (color coded purple) or an N-100, P-100 or R-100 NIOSH rating. These cartridges are specific for filtering out asbestos fibers.
How long does asbestos stay in the air for?
The toxic mineral dust can remain in the air for hours, placing anyone nearby in danger of inhaling or ingesting it. In an environment with little disturbances, it may take 48 to 72 hours for asbestos fibers to settle. If the dust is disturbed, it can easily become airborne again because it is so light.
Will N95 mask protect from asbestos?
A: An N95 mask is a disposable filtering facepiece respirator with two straps. When worn properly (with the mask making a tight seal with the user’s face), it can protect against hazardous airborne particles. N95 masks do not protect against gases, vapors and cannot be used for asbestos, and they do not provide oxygen.