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What Other Diseases Are Directly Caused By Asbestos Exposure?

In last week’s blog, we revisited the scary, but necessary-to-address topic of asbestos and highlighted some of the types of cancer the toxic substance is known to cause. Among them are lung cancer, ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer.

Banned from Canada back in December of 2018, asbestos is still present in many homes, offices, schools and other buildings across the country. Avoiding exposure to its fibres is absolutely mandatory for preserving optimum health. Once inhaled, they can cause serious damage.

In addition to the cancers listed in last week’s blog, there are many other diseases that are directly caused by asbestos exposure. We feel it’s important to expose you to this information this week.

Asbestosis.

As its name clearly gives away, asbestosis is a disease that is directly caused by asbestos exposure. Sufferers often require both oxygen tanks and pain medication in order to control their symptoms. Sadly, as Michelle Whitmer explains on Asbestos.com, there is no cure for asbestosis and its progression can’t be halted.

“Asbestosis is a progressive pulmonary disease that inhibits lung health and function,” she writes, “It develops when inhaled asbestos fibres accumulate in the lungs and cause scar tissue to form. Over time the scar tissue hardens the lungs, limiting elasticity. Breathing becomes difficult and painful as the condition progresses. Scarring impairs the lungs’ ability to supply oxygen to the blood stream.”

Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer that takes the form of a malignant tumour in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. It is directly caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain, and tragically, those diagnosed with mesothelioma are often given up to one more year to live.

As explained by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “Mesothelioma, is a rare cancer of the membrane that covers the lungs and chest cavity (pleura), the membrane lining the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), or membranes surrounding other internal organs. Signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos.”

Clubbed fingers.

This one may come as a surprise to you. Apparently, asbestos-related diseases can cause clubbed fingers to form. Sufferers of asbestosis are especially at risk of getting clubbed fingers. According to Whitmer, they develop early and don’t go away once they are developed. Clubbed fingers are often signs that a person has a particularly severe case of asbestosis.

“About half of all people with severe asbestosis develop a condition known as clubbed fingers,” Whitmer informs us, “The tips of fingers become misshapen, swollen and may take on a box-like appearance. The condition appears to be caused by the biological effects of asbestosis rather than directly by asbestos fibres.”

As we pointed out in last week’s blog, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team remains dedicated to helping Canadians avoid the tragic outcomes that asbestos is known to cause. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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