Asbestos exposure is common. Asbestos can be found in cement sheeting, piping and shingles. Because asbestos is so resistant to heat, it can be found in a number of components on automobiles such as brake pads, flooring, etc. Asbestos can be found in roof coatings, pipelines, insulations, walls and floors (especially vinyl tiles), paints and other building materials. Older products may contain asbestos compounds.
Asbestos can also cause or is linked to lung diseases and lung cancers. Exposure to asbestos can lead to short and long terms medical afflictions such as various forms of deadly cancers.
Known diseases caused by exposure to asbestos include:
- Asbestosis - a long-term non-cancerous disease to the lungs that can result in shortness of breath and a crackling sound made in the lungs. There is no known effective treatment for asbestosis.
- Lung cancer - the largest cause of death among those exposed to asbestos. It is especially prevalent among individuals working in mining, milling and manufacturing of asbestos - common trades in Pennsylvania.
- Mesothelioma - a rare form of cancer that can be found in the lining of the lung, chest or abdomen and is almost always linked to exposure to asbestos. Often the disease is not discovered until many years after the exposure occurred.
Asbestos exposure is a hidden danger that needs to be taken seriously by the building owners and inspectors because of the dangers that such materials present. Sadly, safety cautions and procedures are not always followed by such individuals. This could be due to such officials not understanding what procedures are required, or simply not understanding that such materials have frequently been used in all building structures. Often only the threat of litigation will make employers and manufacturers of asbestos related products take the problem of asbestos health risks seriously.
Source: FOX10tv.com, "Asbestos: Frequently Asked Questions," Nov. 9, 2011