YOUNGER people, if routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time, are at greater risk of developing asbestos-related disease than older workers. This is due to the time it takes for the body to develop symptoms after exposure.
Exposure to asbestos can cause diseases such as:
Mesothelioma (Cancer of the lining of the lungs, always fatal and is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure);
Asbestos-related lung cancer (almost always fatal);
Asbestosis (Scarring of the lungs not always fatal, but can greatly affect quality of life); and
Diffuse pleural thickening (can restrict lung expansion causing breathlessness).
Symptoms can take 15 to 60 years to develop after exposure, so these diseases should not affect you immediately, but may do later in life. Start protecting yourself against exposure to asbestos now, because the effect is cumulative.
If you think you have might have been exposed to asbestos in the past, it is important that your GP knows. Seek medical advice if you have any symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or chest pain, and make sure you talk to your GP
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.