Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Dangers of Asbestos Poisoning

Asbestos is a common substance found in many buildings, as it has been a common building material since the 50s. Mainly it is used for insulation and fire protection. However, recent studies have shown that while it doesn’t affect the body immediately, it might have some long term repercussions that could even prove fatal, which is why many forensic toxicologists often look into it as a possible cause of poisoning. 

Lung Cancer 

Indeed, there are cases when prolonged exposure to asbestos could lead to lung cancer. When you breathe in asbestos fibers, they accumulate in your lungs and cause scarring, inflammation and a host of other diseases, including cancer. As a matter of fact, the US Department of Health and Human Services, along with the EPA has classified asbestos as a carcinogenic substance. 

Pleural thickening 

Pleural thickening happens when the lining of your lungs, which is meant to be composed of thin membranes, thickens as a result of inflammation or irritation. As with the risk of lung cancer, this happens when the asbestos fibers get lodged in the lungs. Pleural thickening typically follows other diseases such as fibrosis or effusion. 


If you look at asbestos under a microscope, asbestos has very tiny, needle-shaped fibers which when stored in your lungs, could actually scar the sensitive tissue lining. It causes progressive shortness of breath and can sometimes be fatal.

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