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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Cancer » Article

Asbestos And Lung Cancer

By Kirsten Hawkins

Asbestos and lung cancer, yes it is true that asbestos is a major reason for the cause of this deadly disease. Before we analyze the interrelationship between asbestos and lung cancer it is necessary to understand what is asbestos and what are its health implications.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral in the form of bundled fibers. Asbestos fibers are heat and chemical resistant and are poor conductor of electricity. These qualities make it fit for commercial use. Industries use four types of Asbestos: Chrysolite or white asbestos, Crocidolite or blue asbestos, Anthophyllite or gray colored fibers and Amosite or brown colored fibers. These asbestos fibers break into tiny dust particles and thus easily inhaled or swallowed which can cause serious health disorders. Lung cancer caused from asbestos is one such example.

Health Hazards of Asbestos

Regular exposure to asbestos can result in several serious diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma cancers and asbestosis. Asbestosis is as lung disease that produces shortness of breath, coughing and permanent damage to lungs and Mesothelioma-a rare cancer of membrane covering the chest and abdomen, and cancers of larynx, oropharynx, gastrointestinal tract and kidney.

Regular exposure of asbestos results in occupational diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Since 1940, millions of American workers, working in shipbuilding companies, mining and milling of asbestos, manufacturing of asbestos textiles and other asbestos products, insulation in construction and building trades, and brake repair were exposed to asbestos. Demolition workers, drywall removers and firefighters are also at risk of being exposed to asbestos that may cause lung cancer in them.

Due to stringent norms and improved work practices, today's workers face negligible risks of lung cancer from asbestos. Although heavier and longer exposure time is held responsible for the risk but investigators found that brief exposures could also lead to infection. Not only the workers but also their families are at risk of asbestos diseases and lung cancer. Para occupational exposure occurs because asbestos fibers are brought into the house by means of shoes, clothing, skin and hair of workers. To avoid this exposure workers are required to take shower and change their clothing before leaving their workplace.

The difficult portion of asbestos related diseases and asbestos related lung cancer is that they can lie dormant in the body for 10-40 years before manifesting. This makes it difficult to diagnose the disease in its early stages. When the diseases are manifested and diagnosed, it is too late and chances of survival of victims are very bleak.
About the Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a asbestos and mesothelioma specialist from Nashville, TN. Visit for information on asbestos reform, mesothelioma lawsuit news, and more.

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