“The Overall Evidence Suggests There Is No Safe Level of Asbestos Exposure”

The National Cancer Institute states that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.1 While most people who develop asbestos-related health conditions were exposed at work, others may encounter the mineral at home, in school, or community spaces. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can get trapped inside the lungs and accumulate, causing serious respiratory problems, mesothelioma, and a half-dozen different cancers. 

However, asbestos exposure can have other, non-respiratory symptoms, too. 

The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure 

Asbestos was once considered a “miracle mineral.” Since the beginning of the 20th century, engineers and home builders harnessed asbestos’s strength, resiliency, and heat-resistant properties to manufacture everything from automotive parts to wall paints and insulation

We know today that asbestos is dangerous and responsible for an assortment of serious health conditions. However, most asbestos-related illnesses take years to develop. Mesothelioma, for instance, has an average “latency period” exceeding 15 years. This means that mesothelioma may not be detectable for a very long time. In fact, some studies show that the median onset time for mesothelioma symptoms ranges between 22 and 40 years after the first asbestos exposure. 

James Heilman, MD

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

While mesothelioma is most often observed in men over the age of 65, asbestos exposure can cause other health problems. 

Anyone who has been exposed to significant amounts of asbestos could be at risk for: 

  • Asbestosis¸ a scarring of the lungs caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. People with asbestosis may find it more difficult to breathe as they get older. 
  • Pleural disease, a non-cancerous lung condition that affects the pleurae, or membranes, of the lungs and chest. People with pleural disease may have poor respiratory function and find it difficult to breathe. 

Asbestos is also responsible for different kinds of cancer, including: 

  • Mesothelioma¸ a cancer of the mesothelium tissues which surround most internal organs. Mesothelioma usually affects the lungs but can also affect the heart, abdomen, testicles, and other body parts. An estimated 80% of mesothelioma diagnoses can be traced back to asbestos exposure. 
  • Lung cancer, a malignant variety of tumor that can invade and block the lung’s air passages. People who have a history of both cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure face a much higher risk of lung cancer than people who have a history of only cigarette smoking or only asbestos exposure. 

Asbestos Symptoms Could Include a Rash 

Asbestos-related health symptoms are usually not detectable for decades after the first or last exposure. 

Before people are diagnosed with serious asbestos related cancers and conditions, they may suffer adverse health effects such as: 

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of pain
  • Persistent dry cough 
  • Gradual weight loss 
  • Dry, crackling sound in the lungs when breathing in
  • Rounded, wide fingertips and toes (clubbing) 

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that asbestos can cause other noticeable problems, especially if asbestos fibers are swallowed or get lodged in the skin. 

Similar to how asbestos can become embedded in the lungs, the mineral can also irritate the skin, causing symptoms including: 

  • Irritation, such as an asbestos rash or hives 
  • Corns
  • Calluses 

While asbestos rash symptoms and other skin-related problems could be a source of concern, they are not usually responsible for long-term health problems. 

What to Do If You Suspect You Have Been Hurt By Asbestos 

Asbestos symptoms can take decades to develop. However, some asbestos-related problems, such as asbestos rash symptoms, could appear quickly. 

If you suspect you have been exposed to asbestos, you should discuss it with your healthcare provider. A physician could help you identify the source of any rash or irritation and perform additional medical procedures, such as a chest x-ray, to see whether you have significant and potentially dangerous accumulations of asbestos in your lungs. 

If you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, you could be entitled to significant compensation—money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being. 

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos illness, you may qualify for compensation without filing a lawsuit.

There are still over $30 Billion dollars placed in Asbestos Trusts. The money can only be used to compensate people with asbestos-related illnesses like asbestosis, pleural thickening, mesothelioma and other cancers.

All we do is help people get compensation from Asbestos Trusts.

AsbestosClaims.law is your comprehensive resource for all things asbestos. We hope this information helps you. If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, including testing for exposure or how to file a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], us or call or text us at (206) 455-9190.

1 National Cancer Institute, Asbestos Fact Sheet (“The overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.”)