How Dangerous Is Asbestos

What is Asbestos

Naturally occurring fibrous minerals possessing flexibility, high tensile strength, electrical resistance, and resistance to chemical and thermal degradation are given the commercial name of Asbestos. Back in the 20th century, these qualities spurred the use of Asbestos in numerous commercial products, including, fireproofing and insulation materials, textile products, automotive brakes, as well as wallboard and cement materials.

Is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos has been classified by several national and international agencies as a human carcinogen. These agencies include the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When Asbestos is handled or disturbed, asbestos fibers are released into the air. These fibers can be inhaled easily. When they become lodged in the lungs, they remain there throughout the course of your life. These fibers can also be swallowed. The accumulation of these fibers causes inflammation and scarring of the lungs, as well as lung cancer and mesothelioma, another type of cancer.

How dangerous is Asbestos?

In a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation in 2010, it was found that asbestos damages your body's cells by releasing molecules which trigger an inflammatory reaction that leads to tumor growth over a period of time. This process was called "programmed cell necrosis" by the researchers.

How Asbestos exposure happens

Following are just some of the circumstances in which asbestos fibers are released into the air:

? Erosion of asbestos-bearing rocks
? Corrosion in asbestos-containing cement pipes
? Breakdown of building and roofing material that contains asbestos
? Remodeling or drilling through asbestos-containing walls and tiles

Despite the direct links of Asbestos to numerous potentially fatal diseases being known, occupational exposure to this material still occurs. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration estimated in 2008 that over one million employees in construction and general industries are exposed to Asbestos while at the workplace. The latency period for most diseases caused by Asbestos is quite long. This means that individuals who were chronically exposed to asbestos over 10 to 40 years will not find out that they have inhaled or ingested the dangerous fibers until it is too late and the diseases have already developed.

Diseases Caused by Asbestos

Asbestos exposure significantly increases the risk of developing the following dangerous illnesses.


This chronic disease of the lungs is identified by inflammation and irritation of the lung tissue. The scarred lung tissue causes shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, and can potentially prove fatal.


This form of cancer affects the lining of the internal organs. Typically the lining of the chest cavity or the abdominal contents are affected. This cancer is commonly attributed to Asbestos exposure. Studies have reportedly established that asbestos disrupts the normal cell cycle and causes cells to divide and grow uncontrollably, leading to the spread of the cancer.

Lung Cancer

In lung cancer the air passages of the lungs are invaded and obstructed by a malignant tumor. Coughing up blood, wheezing, cough and labored breathing are some of the associated symptoms.

How to proceed if diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease

The National Cancer Institute recommends that if you have a history of occupational or environmental exposure to asbestos, you should immediately contact your physician in the event of any symptoms that may be attributed to asbestos-related diseases. Diseases such as mesothelioma or lung cancer must be promptly treated. Victims of mesothelioma and lung cancer should consider filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the asbestos product(s) to which they were exposed to in the first place. As these diseases are debilitating, you can possibly improve your quality of life by obtaining compensation for lost wages, personal suffering and medical expenses involved for the treatment.

You can request for additional information specific to your case by filling out the form provided on this page.

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Q:I just read about the dangers of asbestos. Can you tell me how one gets exposed to asbestos?

A:There are a number of ways through which asbestos one can get exposed to asbestos. One can inhale asbestos fibers due to the erosion of asbestos bearing rocks, corrosion of asbestos containing cement pipes, breakdown of building material containing asbestos, and drilling or remodeling of asbestos containing walls and tiles.

Q:I have heard that mesothelioma is one of the diseases caused by asbestos. Can you tell me about it?

A:Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of internal organs. Usually the abdominal areas and the lining of the chest are affected by it. This cancer is normally associated with asbestos exposure. Research studies have indicated that asbestos makes changes to the normal cell cycles and they start dividing and growing uncontrollably, leading to cancer.

Q:Can I file a lawsuit for cancer caused by asbestos?

A:There have been numerous cases in which people have contracted dangerous diseases due to the exposure of asbestos. If you or your loved one is facing a similar situation, it is advisable that you contact an asbestos lawyer and discuss your case in detail. The lawyer will help you determine the amount and likelihood of getting compensation for cancer caused by asbestos.

Q:What is the most common asbestos caused cancer?

A:Common cancers caused by asbestos include lung cancer and mesothelioma. In lung cancer the air passages of the lungs are occupied and damaged by a malignant (cancerous) tumor. While mesothelioma damages the lining of the internal organs. Typically the lining of the chest cavity or the abdominal contents are affected.

Q:Why is asbestos dangerous?

A:Asbestos fibers can be inhaled easily when they are released into the air. If they enter human lungs, they stay there throughout the course of human life. The accumulation of asbestos fibers results in inflammation and scarring of the lungs. Inhaled fibers may also develop into lung cancer or mesothelioma.

Q:How much asbestos exposure is dangerous?

A:Asbestos exposure is always dangerous because once fibers from the air are inhaled; they stay in the lungs throughout the course of human life. However, more exposure to asbestos can increase the likelihood of disease. The disease does not appear immediately after the exposure, and may only come to surface after ten to twenty years of exposure, when it has already been developed.

Q:How is asbestos dangerous and what are the diseases caused by asbestos?

A:Asbestos is dangerous for human health as its fibers are inhaled by humans, and they stay there throughout the course of human life. These fibers result in scarring and inflammation of lungs and can develop into dangerous diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Asbestos symptoms may not appear at first and they are usually known when the disease is fully developed.

Q:When is asbestos dangerous?

A:Asbestos is dangerous for humans when it is broken or damaged and its fibers are spread in the air. Asbestos fibers can be inhaled when erosion of asbestos bearing rocks occurs, or there is corrosion in asbestos-containing cement pipes. It can also be dangerous when the breakdown of building and roofing material takes place that contains asbestos. Remodeling or drilling of asbestos containing walls can be dangerous too.

Q:Is one time exposure to asbestos dangerous?

A:Asbestos can cause dangerous diseases and there is actually no safe level of exposure to asbestos. The shape and length of asbestos fibers can cause more harm than the chemical composition of the substance, as fibers can get trapped in lungs and distributed throughout the body, through the lymph system.

Q:Is all asbestos dangerous?

A:Asbestos has been classified as a human carcinogen by a number of health related agencies. Asbestos is only dangerous when its fibers spread in the air, due to erosion or damage to any material that has asbestos it. Asbestos fiber can enter lungs and may cause scarring and inflammation, and diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Q:Is corrugated asbestos dangerous?

A:Corrugated asbestos is not dangerous if it is in a form of one solid piece. However, over time it gets brittle and breaks apart. As asbestos deteriorates, minute particles are released, and can be inhaled by anyone who is around. People who are exposed to asbestos can have massive tissue scarring and various harmful diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Q:Is wet asbestos dangerous?

A:Asbestos is not dangerous when it is not disturbed. However, if asbestos is present at a building or home and there is a danger of it being disturbed, it should be kept wet. This enables particles to remain stable and not spread in the air. Sometimes removing asbestos does more harm than good, so decision needs to be made whether it should be removed or not.