The most common cause of asbestos disease is occupational exposure. Skilled trade and manual labor were at the highest risk of the mineral asbestos; especially construction and factory workers. This mineral was used in a lot of commercial, industrial, and domestic products. Due to the military’s past of using asbestos-filled products, they are also at a very high risk of developing a disease.
How Does Exposure to Asbestos Occur?
Microscopic asbestos fibers are released into the air and are ingested or inhaled by anyone that is located within the area. The asbestos fibers can stay in the air for hours, endangering more people. The human body has the ability to remove some of the inhaled fibers, however, some could potentially get stuck in the lung tissue or other areas. Complications typically occur after years of constant exposure, but no amount of exposure is safe.
Over time of exposure, asbestos can collect in the body’s tissue and cause damage and inflammation, resulting in cancer and other diseases. An individual’s health can be more at risk if the exposure is combined with smoking tobacco.
Exposure to asbestos is most common through an individual’s occupation. Many building materials contain asbestos, which home and commercial workers use daily. The fibers are released into the air as the asbestos products deteriorate while being used.
It is rare to encounter secondary or environmental asbestos exposure; however, it typically does not cause health problems.