Asbestos is a dangerous mineral fiber that could become trapped in your lungs or other parts of your body. Once trapped, these fibers can cause scarring that eventually leads to cancer or other complications.
Interestingly, asbestos is naturally found in the soil and rocks. It’s all around people all the time, but it’s not dangerous. Why?
The number of times you’re exposed and the severity of exposure matters. Exposure outdoors isn’t likely to be as severe as exposure from coming into contact with asbestos in a contained area.
What kind of problems can asbestos exposure cause?
Some of the common illnesses that are caused by asbestos exposure include:
- Lung cancer
Each of these conditions can affect the lungs and the areas around the lungs. Mesothelioma sometimes affects the abdominal organs and stomach as well.
Keep in mind that exposure won’t affect you right away in most situations. It may take many years for the fibers to cause damage that is noticeable.
What should you do if you’re exposed to asbestos?
Don’t panic. If you’re exposed only once, you may not ever develop a problem. Speak with your medical provider about the exposure, so it’s on record. Then, you can monitor yourself and have your doctor monitor you for signs of mesothelioma or other lung conditions early on.
If you work with asbestos and have fallen ill, it’s a good idea to learn more about your legal rights. You’ve suffered a preventable illness due to your exposure to asbestos, and your past employer could be liable for any injuries you develop.