Asbestos-related health problems are a real issue. Last month, we talked about potential health risks arising due to overflowing asbestos disposal & quarantine sites (see post here). The article briefly goes over the conditions and diseases associated with asbestos exposure, but we wanted to expand on that.
There are several diseases and health conditions commonly associated with asbestos, each with their own difficulties.
- Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer primarily associated with asbestos exposure. Around 3,000 people each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma. The outlook for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma is not positive, and with the majority of people dying within a year of diagnosis.
- Asbestosis. Asbestosis is a chronic condition that affects the lungs and respiratory system. An asbestosis diagnosis usually signifies a lifetime of treatments for scarred lungs and chronic inflammation.
- Cancer. Asbestos has been linked to many different cancers including:
- Ovarian cancer
Asbestos research has also show a possible link between stomach & colorectal cancer and asbestos exposure.
Each of the diseases and health conditions above require a lifetime of care and the costs of that care. Treatments and procedures for asbestos-related diseases can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention countless hours of time patients must use for medical appointments and recovery.
Employers, Property Owners, & Asbestos Exposure
The financial cost of proven long-term asbestos exposure on an individual can become an issue for employers and property owners who expose employees or contractors to asbestos. Employers and property owners should be aware of any potential asbestos exposure employees, contractors, or other visitors may experience at a job site or property.
Inspections need to be conducted before deeming any potentially hazardous job site safe and asbestos containing materials (ACM) should be part of any inspection. Unsafe conditions at a job site or property can lead to many people getting sick along with huge financial losses if legal action is pursued.
On-top of just affecting contractors and employees, sites with undisclosed or undiscovered ACM could lead to an accident potential spreading asbestos to the surrounding areas. Uncontrolled demolitions, gas explosions, or simply sloppy disposal or work could lead to asbestos dispersal.
Having an asbestos-free workplace or property should be a priority for any employers or property managers. Make sure any jobsite or property where other people are working is safe and asbestos-free.
Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Resources
For more information on finding a local contractor to assist with asbestos information, remediation, or removal check the resources below: