The first evidence of the harmful effects of asbestos on health was manifested in workers in activities related to the extraction and manufacture of asbestos products. These cases are characterized by exposure to high concentrations of these particles in the air and for a long time, which is why the incidence of diseases secondary to asbestos was limited to a small number of workers.

The Primary Industries

The main industries affected were asbestos mines, shipyards, fiber cement factories, and the construction and insulation materials industries, as well as in refineries, paper industry, electrical materials, automobile components, transportation, tobacco, textile, maintenance, and mechanical workshops. Other professions at risk from asbestos exposure include cleaning and ironing workers, machine fitters and assemblers, electricians, plumbers, heaters, pipefitters, welders, sheet metal workers, boilermakers, bricklayers, bulldozer drivers, workers graphic arts, stevedores, or shippers.

The Risk

To a lesser extent, environmental and non-occupational exposure can also be dangerous, as has been shown in the case of workers’ relatives who were exposed and washed their work clothes at home, which were contaminated with carbon fibers. asbestos. For the people who lived within a radius of two kilometers from fiber cement factories, shipyards, friction factories, or textile industry, the risk of suffering a disease associated with exposure to asbestos was multiplied by 12.

The Signs and Symptoms

How can you identify whether you have asbestos in your house? It is not easy to detect asbestos because it is used in various materials and not just one. In fact, it can be discovered in any room in your home. It is found in a variety of products related to construction, from which your home likely was made from. It can be in the insulation, roofing tiles, vinyl floors, cement, and textured paints. Even though it is not easy to detect, there are some things you can look for, especially, if your home was constructed in the late 70s. You can look around the home for:

  • Cracked siding
  • Crumbling drywall
  • Brittle coatings or ceiling tiles
  • Frayed piping insulation
  • Corrugated roofing
  • Discolored tiles

Be mindful that if you were to find any of these materials, you still would not know for sure if your home had asbestos since you cannot see it with the naked eye. It is important to have a test done to see the outcome.

The Exposure

Asbestos was used in various materials in which, initially, there was no risk of exposure to fibers due to the use of the material, but with the passage of time and wear these materials are susceptible to deterioration and these fibers are released into the environment. As a result, people, especially exposed workers, can suffer serious illnesses from exposure to asbestos.

How to Avoid its Harmful Effects

Eliminating exposure to asbestos is the only effective way to prevent these diseases from occurring. Surveillance and early detection through various tests have not been clearly shown to be of benefit. It is important to monitor the people exposed to asbestos, especially if the exposure is occupational and continuous, to be able to identify those mesothelioma cancer cases that are entitled to legal compensation, as it is an occupational disease. Exposure to lower doses does not have to be less dangerous, since there are no minimum safety levels, that is, there is no minimum concentration below which exposure to asbestos fibers is safe. Any potential source of asbestos must be eliminated, using the appropriate protective equipment and techniques.