Levels of asbestos exposure
In 2016, there were 40,000 deaths from asbestos, according to stats from the International Commission of Occupational Health. It is good to be alert to any amount of asbestos exposure, but it helps to know about the various levels of exposure.
In general, the risk of getting a disease from light exposure, such as a remodeling job, seldom causes a major health risk. Frequent, short-term asbestos exposure could raise the chances of health risks. A disaster could involve extreme asbestos exposure.
How much exposure poses a risk?
Many people don’t really understand asbestos, thinking it relates to the food chain or is absorbed by the skin or that issues result from just being around it. None of these beliefs are true. Asbestos-related diseases occur when microscopic fibers get into the lining of the lungs, heart or abdomen. No level of asbestos exposure is safe, and caution should be exercised around toxic dust.
It could take years or decades before any symptoms present themselves. For example, workers during the 1950s and 1960s were more likely exposed before regulations even if only in small increments. Their symptoms may not have been apparent until much later.
Risk factors and symptoms
Research indicates that genetics play a role in the development of asbestos-related illness. The amount of asbestos and length of exposure are other risk factors. Smokers increase their risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. The risk of exposure also depends on the type of asbestos.
Workers can still be exposed to asbestos. Individuals who develop mesothelioma related to asbestos exposure in their occupation may be entitled to compensation.