Exposure to asbestos can increase the risk of developing one or more harmful disease. There are basically three diseases caused by asbestos exposure, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer. Asbestos related diseases are often not discovered until 15 to 40 years after exposure. Asbestos diseases are almost always fatal.
Asbestosis – a non-malignant, progressive, irreversible lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust and characterized by widespread scarring of lung tissue. Asbestosis is generally associated with high dose exposures over a long period of time. Asbestosis is generally not a problem for those who occupy buildings containing asbestos materials because airborne levels are usually much lower than industry levels. Asbestosis is the major health hazard associated with asbestos.
Lung Cancer – an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung(s). There are many causes of lung cancer, of which asbestos is only one. As with asbestosis, there appears to be a dose-response relationship. There appears to be a synergistic effect between asbestos-induced lung cancer and cigarette smoking. Lung cancer is the second major health hazard associated with asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma – a relatively rare form of cancer which develops in the lining of the chest cavity. This type of cancer spreads rapidly and is always fatal. Approximately 75% of cases can be linked to asbestos exposure. There does not appear to be a dose-response relationship between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. People who have lived near asbestos mines or other sources have become victims of this disease, indicating that relatively low exposures may initiate the disease in some people. There are confirmed cases of mesothelioma in people under 18 years of age.
Building Permit Requirements
Where is Asbestos Found?