Monday, December 12, 2011

Guest Post | Asbestos Exposure and Occupational Safety

The naturally occurring mineral, asbestos, has been used as a manufacturing material for its insulating and fireproofing capabilities. Asbestos has been incorporated into an estimated 5,000 types of products. Occupations that have a strong history of using asbestos-containing products include those in shipyards, power plants, chemical plants, construction, manufacturing and automotive industries. According to the World Health Organization, at least 200,000 people die from cancer related to the work place and about 125 million are exposed to asbestos at work.

Due to the widespread use of asbestos, most workers within these industries may have been exposed to the toxic mineral at some point during their employment. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. While there are no immediate health effects after experiencing asbestos exposure, symptoms of these conditions can arise between 10 and 50 years from the time of someone’s initial exposure to asbestos. Recently, it has been found that being exposed later in life reduces the chances of developing mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the lining of the organs. The three main forms of mesothelioma affect the pleural lining of the lungs, the peritoneal lining of the stomach, and the pericardial lining of the heart.

There are very few treatment options for these conditions and early detection may offer patients a greater chance of survival. Since asbestos-related conditions are typically diagnosed during the later stages of development, prognosis is often poor. The average mesothelioma life expectancy ranges between 4 and 18 months following diagnosis.

If you suspect asbestos is present, treat the material in question as if it was asbestos and notify your supervisor. The only way to know if asbestos is present is by taking an air sample at your home or workplace. The air sample needs to be analyzed by a professional using polarized light microscopy or transmission electron microscopy.


Ben Leer is an outreach coordinator with the Mesothelioma Center. He has worked toward the education and awareness of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases since 2009. The Mesothelioma Center is dedicated to provide the most up-to-date information regarding mesothelioma and asbestos.

8 comments:

  1. A lot of those who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma have the illness because of negligence to expose themselves in asbestos. Patients dealing with Malignant Mesothelioma should consult their physician regarding treatment options available. Make sure that you people dealing with industrial jobs especially if materials used asbestos have proper training on how to deal with it. Get a Asbestos and Silica Awareness Training.

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  2. Asbestos is the most widely used in construction place but at the same time workers have high risk of asbestos exposure.

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  3. This is something to not only worry about in an occupational environment. I read here that schools are also exposing children to asbestos in science kits. This is something that we need to look after very carefully.

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  4. Its terrible that although we banned the mining of asbestos here in the US, tons of the toxic chemical are still imported from abroad! Whats wrong with us!? I am still worried that our children will still be dealing with the effects of it 50 years from now. Asbestos is still a huge global business because developing countries still import and use it in construction! Read more here: http://bit.ly/BanAsbestosBlogs

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  5. Asbestos is a common chemical used in shingles. It used to be a cheap material to use for that. You can read more here: http://awe.sm/5hIjj Also can find authoritative and factual information on the topic of asbestos and mesothelioma. We can also offer further help to fight for compensation you deserve.

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  6. Extraordinary work you folks are doing with this webpage.
    Asbestos Lawyer

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  7. Asbestos is a huge OHS issue and Australia is aiming to eradicate it in the near future with new WHS laws. Adequate OH&S Course training is one the best steps to ensuring all employees have access to a safety representative that can provide policy and procedure for dealing with asbestos in the workplace.

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  8. There are so many litigations where I used to work because of asbestos. I wish we would of known about the health hazards long before. Would of saved a lot of lives.

    Tim
    6Webs

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