air that is contaminated with asbestos dust can cause scar tissue
(fibrosis) to form inside the lung. This can cause scarred lung
tissue which can not expand or contract normally. The austerity
of the respiratory disease depends upon the duration of exposure
and the amount inhaled.
fibres were commonly used in many industrial areas such as
shipyards, asbestos mining and milling, manufacturing of asbestos
textiles and other asbestos products, insulation work in the
construction and building trades, brake repairs, and a variety
of other trades (for further detail view Asbestos Management).
Although it is known that the risk to workers
increase with heavier exposure and longer exposure time, investigators
have found asbestos-related diseases in some shipyard workers
exposed to high levels asbestos fibres for only brief periods
(as little as 1 or 2 months) as well as workers who may not
have worked directly with asbestos, but jobs were located
near contaminated areas developing abestosis, mesothelioma,
and other cancers associated with asbestos exposure.
General exposure to asbestos may increase
the risk of several serious diseases such as:
• Asbestosis a chronic lung ailment
that can produce shortness of breath and permanent lung damage
and increase the risk of dangerous lung infections
• Lung cancer
• Mesothelioma that is a relatively rare cancer of the
thin membranes that line the chest and adbomen
• Other cancers, such as those relating to the larynx
and gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms develop slowly after a period of exposure which can
vary from a few weeks to many years. In some cases exposure
may have began so long ago that it cannot be recalled. Breathlessness
occurs first and progresses as the lung loses its elasticity.
There may be little or no cough and chest pains seldom occurs.
The individual becomes weak and distressed on effort and,
evenually, even at rest. Unless periodic medicals are introduces
the diagnosis will not be made until symptoms appear. Early
diagnosis is essential in order to prevent further exposure
and an excarbation of the condition.