The effects of asbestos exposure are not apparent until decades after being contaminated. The clinical manifestations are generally obvious after 10-20 years depending on the extent of the exposure, overall health of the victim, and lifestyle patterns. The asbestos-related symptoms that manifest themselves within the latency period depend on the type of disease that the patient eventually develops. The most symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Pain or tightening in the chest
- Persistent coughing
- Difficulty with physical exertion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Fatigue or anaemia
Many of these symptoms are also linked to other health conditions, so detailed examination may be necessary to detect asbestos poisoning. The examination can either be evasive or non-evasive; however, doctors cannot detect how many fibres are actually in the lungs. The extent of the damaged lungs only becomes apparent after decades when the patient’s health has declined considerably.
Who is at risk?
Anyone that has worked with, or still works with, asbestos containing materials is at risk of developing asbestos symptoms if certain precautionary measures are not taken. People that are in construction, mining, electrical, or renovation are all potential victims.
It must be noted that bonded asbestos that is undamaged is safer than non-bonded asbestos. However, despite the distinction, all efforts must be taken to prevent airborne asbestos fibres from getting into the lungs.
Researchers have linked the risk of mesothelioma to the combined effect of asbestos and smoking. While smoking also causes lung cancer, the presence of asbestos fibres in the lungs only accelerates the debilitating effects of the disease.
Factors such as dose, duration, and source of the exposure are also determining factors regarding the type of disease and symptoms felt.
To date, there are no known cures for asbestos-related diseases. Depending on the extent of the disease, surgery can be performed; but this still does not guarantee that the lungs will be free from the fibres. There is also no safe exposure level which means that avoiding any possible contact without the appropriate safety gear is advised.
Don’t place the health of you, your family and your work mates at risk from asbestos. Contact Quality Building Management today to have your complex assessed for deadly asbestos and comply with your legal obligations.