It’s a common misconception that buildings these days are not insulated with asbestos. Unfortunately, that isn’t true in many cases. Many old buildings still expose unsuspecting victims to asbestos.
Our goal is to educate you on the dangers of asbestos and the effects exposure may have on you.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the name given to six different naturally occurring minerals. These minerals are heat-resistant, making them perfect for insulating buildings. While it is naturally occurring, asbestos can be dangerous when the fibers are released into the air and inhaled.
If you believe there is asbestos in your building, there are some tips for identifying asbestos and what to do. The first way to identify it is to look at the materials used to build. Certain materials, such as insulation, can contain asbestos, especially when built around or before 1990.
Asbestos use was discontinued in that year, although, as we mentioned, many asbestos-containing buildings are still standing and operational.
If the building you’re in is found to contain asbestos in any area, it’s best to call in the experts to conduct an assessment of the building. Inspectors are skilled in handling asbestos and can direct you to the proper solutions.
How You Can Be Exposed
Simply walking into an asbestos-containing building one time isn’t likely to cause you any health problems. But certain situations can expose you to asbestos over the long term. The following are some examples of these situations:
- You live in an old apartment building or home that was insulated with asbestos-containing materials.
- You worked in an industry like construction that exposed you to asbestos almost every day.
Dangers Of Asbestos Exposure
Let’s say you are exposed to asbestos. What does that mean? When you inhale asbestos fibers, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. As these fibers sit in your lungs, they accumulate and can lead to serious health problems like asbestosis, lung disease, or mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare but very aggressive form of cancer, most commonly the result of asbestos exposure. While the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can look like other diseases, it’s important to look out for several symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Other breathing trouble
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult a physician. The National Cancer Institute is a great resource for more information on all of the medical problems associated with asbestos exposure.
Financial Effects of Asbestos
When it comes to the financial effects of mesothelioma, you can bet it will be expensive. The medical bills alone can be daunting, but when you take into account the financial strain of supplies, the cost of living with the disease, and the impending legal battle when you file a claim for compensation, the expenses can be life-altering.
That’s why many victims of asbestos exposure hire an attorney to help them pursue compensation.