Inhalation Of Asbestos 10 Years Ago May Be Causing Symptoms Now
Asbestosis is a chronic condition in which the lungs are gradually scarred by the presence of lodged asbestos fibers. The scarring that occurs takes place when the lungs try to expel those foreign bodies, triggering inflammation. The onset of asbestosis symptoms after exposure is a slow process, sometimes taking 15 to 30 years.
When symptoms of asbestosis do emerge, the primary experience is shortness of breath - or dyspnea - and its chronic character makes it difficult and usually impossible to remedy. In advanced cases of asbestosis, a patient may have respiratory failure, and in every case, they will likely develop cancer.
Asbestos is naturally resistant to “digestions” by the body’s immune response. A cell called a macrophage will attempt to break them down, but eventually dies itself and attracts more macrophages followed by cells that deposit “healing,” or fibrous, scar tissue. Because this process repeats continually, the fibrotic tissue (or fibrosis) accumulates into a mass, eventually thickening these alveolar walls, which usually allows the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide into and out of the blood. The alveolar walls are less elastic and the gas diffusion impaired. The asbestosis patient usually finds it difficult to breathe, literally not “getting enough air.”
Because most asbestosis sufferers have contracted the disease after much exposure, and since this carcinogen is primarily found in building materials - like flooring, roofing, and pipes - the illness is usually traced back to occupational exposure. Accordingly, these related conditions are known as building-related illnesses.
Repeatedly inhaling asbestos, which can be free-form and respirable, is how one is most dangerously exposed. Although the EPA banned many uses of the free-form kind in recent decades, the demolition or slow deterioration of buildings also creates the condition for exposure.
Studies around the world show that asbestos in the environment - not just in the air, but also in drinking water and elsewhere - raise the occurrence of asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis. However, inhalation is proven by epidemiological studies to cause asbestosis. With inhalation, fibers enter the lungs and stay lodged, especially a type known as amphibole-shaped, which are thin and straight allowing them to penetrate deeply and cause the organs to become inflamed
There is debate about the safety of using the fibers, which have been encased in another material and are therefore not easily respirable. Some argue that those materials will eventually break down. In cases of demolition, like the World Trade Center clean-up, workers were exposed to fibers which had been encased. When they are released into the air, the form is not amphibole, but serpentine (curved) and critics maintain that these are not as easily lodged deep in the lungs.
One family of disorders known as interstitial lung disease is closely linked; however, diagnosis of one of these disorders may be delayed until a biopsy confirms the source of inflammation. Asbestosis-related diseases are emerging with more frequency as those who were exposed age. Staying current with lung cancer and mesothelioma information can help asbestosis sufferers, who are at increased risk, detect the symptoms early and initiate therapies to slow their development.
Mesothelioma Lawsuits Attorneys