Asbestos exposure can lead to unforgivable injuries that can be precursors to cancer and asbestosis. One can risk exposure to asbestos anywhere where airborne asbestos exists. Asbestos injuries can be very serious and cause great detriment in a person’s life. An asbestos injury can happen when a person is exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos for continuous periods of time.
Certain occupations are at a higher risk for asbestos exposure including those in the construction, railroad, mining, and shipyard industries. Not only are the workers more likely to be exposed to asbestos, but their families are as well. When a worker is exposed to asbestos, tiny fibers of the particles can be brought home via clothes, shoes, and hair. The invisible exposure to asbestos can cause drastic health problems in family members because the exposure can go undetected for long periods of time. Even though the exposure is not very concentrated, over time the effects can be deadly.
Some of these deadly effects are asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer. Asbestosis is a non cancerous asbestos injury that can lead to disability and even death. Asbestosis’ physical symptom is the scarring of the lower lobes of the lungs. This happens when asbestos fibers are inhaled over a period of time. The effects of asbestosis can worsen over time because this is a silent killer whose effects can go undetected for some time. Asbestos exposure can also cause mesothelioma, which is a cancerous, deadly disease that attacks the mesothelium of that lines the walls of organs. Mesothelioma is often dormant for years but once it is detected a person usually has less than a year to live. Asbestos is truly a silent killer because a person may be living with an asbestos injury for years. The third effect of asbestos is cancer. Lung, esophagus, colon, kidney, larynx, and pancreatic cancers can all be caused by asbestos injuries. There is a seven times greater risk for individuals who have been exposed to asbestos to develop lung cancer than those who have not been exposed.
All of these serious, life threatening problems could be prevented through the implementation of prevention programs. The government has already limited legal employee exposure levels to a maximum exposure of 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter in an eight hour day. Limiting asbestos exposure could result in diminishing some asbestos injuries. It is vital for the government to enforce stricter asbestos exposure laws in order to protect the well being of workers in high risk jobs.