5 Signs of Asbestos Exposure Everyone Needs to Know
Did you know that there’s something that kills 39,000 Americans each year and that 1.3 million workers are exposed to every day? This mysterious material isn’t something that’s rare to find. In fact, some of you reading this may be exposed to it right now.
Asbestos is largely viewed as a thing of the past, but the truth is that there are still many people in 2020 that show signs of asbestos exposure.
Take a little time to educate yourself on asbestos today so you can avoid a potentially disastrous medical diagnosis in the future.
Signs Of Asbestos Exposure
The most common signs of asbestos exposure usually appear in the lungs. Doctors will usually do a chest x-ray to see if there are any signs of pleural plaques forming on the lungs.
One of the most important things to remember about asbestos exposure is that the signs don’t show up immediately. On average, it can take anywhere from 10-30 years for some to show symptoms of asbestos exposure.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that the signs of asbestos exposure aren’t apparent until a disease has already developed. If you have any of the following issues, talk to a doctor immediately:
1. Clubbed Fingers
People with clubbed fingers have fingertips that are swollen on box-like. It’s estimated that half of all people with severe asbestosis have clubbed fingers.
2. Pleural Effusion
Pleural effusion is the build-up of fluid in the lungs. This is usually diagnosed through X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans.
3. Dry Cough
Do you feel that you’re always coughing, but you never expel any mucus? A persistent dry cough could be a sign of lung damage caused by asbestos exposure.
4. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of things, but it’s also a sign of asbestos exposure. Being short of breath every now and then isn’t worrying. It’s a problem if you find yourself short of breath after doing simple, everyday tasks.
5. Chest Tightness/Pain
Do you have difficulty taking deep breaths, or feel pain when you inhale deeply? Chest tightness and pain are common signs of exposure and can get worse as time goes on.
The Truth About Asbestos
There’s a popular myth that the use of asbestos was totally banned in the United States in the 1980s. The truth is far more complicated.
In 1989 the EPA completed a 10-year study on the dangers of asbestos and recommended that it be taken off of the market completely. Due to pressure from lobbyists, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ban in 1991.
Although there are some state, local, and federal laws that do ban the use of asbestos in certain instances, the substance can still be found in plenty of places today. The high amount of asbestos lawsuit funding shows that there are still plenty of people that are exposed.
It isn’t uncommon to find asbestos in flooring, shingles, walls, ceiling finishes, and even pipes. There are countless older homes and buildings that contain asbestos, and people can easily become exposed to it.
If you’re showing signs of asbestos exposure, don’t wait to make an appointment with your doctor or respiratory health specialist. The sooner you’re diagnosed, the better your outcomes can be.
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