Health Risks Of Asbestos Exposure And How To Avoid It

12 June, 2019

Historically, the use of asbestos in various products (including basic building materials) was quite common. Over the years, more and more evidence started to surface relating to the health risks it posed. It led to a ban on the use of asbestos in the late 1970s. However, buildings that were built before this time – and are still in use by residential and commercial occupants – could contain asbestos cladding, roofing, lino and other asbestos based elements. Exposure to asbestos can result in many health problems. Here are a few of the most common ones.

  • Respiratory & Lung Problems

Respiratory symptoms of asbestos exposure include shortness of breath and coughing. Inhalation of asbestos dust results in problems with the pleura (the lining of the lungs). Pleural problems include pleural plaques that cause scarring of the pleural membrane and a collection of fluid around the lungs (known as pleural effusions). Other issues include thickening and fibrosis of the pleura, as well as a condition where a portion of the lung rolls up and is deprived of air.

  • Kidney Problems

Asbestos has been linked to a rare health condition known as retroperitoneal fibrosis. This is caused by the growth of a fibrous mass that forms behind the membrane lining of the abdominal cavity.

  • Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissue and can cause permanent lung damage. It generally occurs after long term exposure to asbestos. Signs of asbestosis include shortness of breath and chest pain.

  • Cancer

Prolonged exposure to asbestos can result in lung cancer. Another rare but life-threatening cancer called Mesothelioma has also been linked to long term exposure to asbestos. Additional cancer types associated with asbestos exposure include cancers of the kidney, gastrointestinal tract, larynx and oropharynx. It can take many years for symptoms to start manifesting, but the longer the asbestos exposure continues, the more severe and life-threatening the cancer will be.

What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Asbestos Exposure?

If you suspect there might be asbestos in your home or business, your first step is to contact a qualified asbestos testing and removal company. They’ll be able to inspect your home or business premises for the existence of asbestos. In the unfortunate event that your building does contain asbestos, a professional asbestos removal team will be able to rid your property of it safely, using the correct methods and health-compliant techniques. They will also make sure it’s disposed of in a manner that doesn’t impact the environment or endanger other people.

K Team asbestos removal specialists offer complete asbestos testing, removal and disposal services for Auckland businesses. For a quote or to inquire about our asbestos removal costs, contact our New Zealand based team now.