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New Orleans Asbestos Blog

Asbestos that is friable is most dangerous

Several decades ago, it would not have been uncommon for you to hear about or come into close vicinity with products containing asbestos. Back then, even most home insulation contained the material. It existed (and still does, in many cases) in ceiling tiles, flooring, cabinetry, certain vehicle and machine components, and more. The problem is that when certain conditions are present or disruption of asbestos occurs, it poses a serious health risk to anyone nearby. 

Whether you're still active in the workforce or retired, you may be suffering an asbestos-related illness and not even be aware of it. That's because most infections and illnesses associated with asbestos are slow-developing conditions with symptoms that may not be apparent for months, even years, following exposure. The bottom line is the more you know about asbestos, the better, especially if you think you may have suffered adverse health effects because of it. The good news is support networks are already in place to assist you. 

What are some early lung cancer symptoms?

One thing you always hear people say about cancer is that it is best to catch it early. This is especially true with aggressive and potentially fatal types of cancer. Remember, for both men and women, no type of cancer takes more lives annually than lung cancer. The sooner you know you have it, the better your odds of beating it.

With that in mind, here are some of the early signs that you may have developed lung cancer:

  • You have a persistent cough that you can never shake. It's more than just feeling sick for a week or a month. It never leaves.
  • That cough keeps getting worse. It sounds hoarse and deep. You cough up mucus and blood.
  • No matter how hard breathing feels, it sounds hard. You keep wheezing -- making that thin whistling sound. It sounds like there's an obstruction so that air cannot pass through freely.
  • Your weight starts falling. It's more than just a few pounds, but keeps falling. You did not start running or eating better, so you don't know why.
  • Your voice changes. It may go along with the cough. Instead of sounding clear, it's always hoarse and rough.
  • You start having pain in your chest. It may not feel like a heart attack, but it's significant. Doctors warn that it could be a sharp pain or a dull one, a chronic ache or something that comes and goes.

Does talcum powder still contain asbestos?

You have probably heard about the dangers of talcum powder and its link to both lung cancer and ovarian cancer. The general risk for lung cancer comes from work-related inhalation of the fibers, while the risk for ovarian cancer comes from extensive home use of the powder.

Perhaps you have also heard that part of the risk of using talcum powder is that it naturally contains asbestos. Is this still true?

How long do you live with mesothelioma?

If you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the first thing you should know is that every case is different. There are many factors in play here, such as what type of treatment you use and how far along the disease has progressed by the time it is caught.

That being said, the median length of survival for those who are diagnosed is just 12 months. This is a very aggressive type of cancer, which is what makes it so dangerous.

Lung cancer symptoms aren't just in your lungs

When looking out for lung cancer symptoms, it's natural for people to consider the symptoms that impact the lungs directly, such as trouble breathing or frequent coughing.

While it is important to keep these issues in mind and pay attention to them, it's also important to remember that some symptoms show up elsewhere in the body. These may include things such as:

  • Weight loss that you cannot explain.
  • Never feeling hungry.
  • Feeling constantly fatigued.
  • The wasting and deterioration of muscles.
  • Consistent headaches.
  • Pain in your joints.
  • Other instances of bone pain and even bone fractures.
  • Issues with memory and memory loss.
  • Feeling unsteady on your feet.
  • Additional neurological symptoms, which can have a variety of impacts on brain function.
  • Swelling in your face or your neck.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • A general feeling of persistent weakness.
  • Blood clots, which can be dangerous and sometimes fatal in their own right.

Mesothelioma isn't the only asbestos-related illness out there

If you spent several years working in an industry in which you were exposed to high concentrations of asbestos on a regular basis, you may already be aware of the possibility of receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma, which is a fatal cancer attributed to this naturally occurring, but toxic, mineral.

However, mesothelioma is not the only disease attributable to asbestos exposure. Another incurable condition your doctor may diagnose you with is asbestosis. Like other chronic health conditions, this one can also rob you of the ability to enjoy certain activities, to work or even to keep up with daily activities. It could greatly diminish your quality of life. Even your family could suffer the adverse effects of your condition since you may not be able to do certain things with your family.

What rating should an asbestos mask carry?

You're at work when you find out you're going to be working around asbestos. Everyone knows in advance. They know the risk and the dangers.

Then your boss hands you a standard paper dust mask from the nearest big-box hardware store. He or she assures you that it'll be enough, that you won't breathe in the cancer-causing particles with the mask on.

Is it legal to remove asbestos yourself?

You find asbestos in your home's insulation during a renovation project. You know the grave dangers of asbestos, which can lead to respiratory issues and a type of cancer known as mesothelioma. That cancer is famous for its aggressive nature, and it is often fatal to those who contract it.

You want to remove the asbestos from the home as you finish the project, making it safe for your family to live there. What you're wondering, though, is if you can legally do it yourself. Considering how dangerous it is and how detrimental the impact to your health can be if the removal is done incorrectly, is it illegal to make this a do-it-yourself job?

How common is occupational lung cancer?

You're diagnosed with lung cancer, and you're shocked. Yes, you have smoked a handful of cigars, but only on special occasions. Perhaps you have smoked a dozen in your life. You certainly do not smoke cigarettes or anything else on a regular basis, and you never have. How could you have gotten lung cancer?

While smoking is a huge cause of lung cancer, it's certainly not the only cause. Many people contract the disease as a result of exposure to harmful materials and chemicals while at work. Your chosen career could have massively increased your risk.

Where has asbestos been used?

People are often well aware that asbestos is a dangerous material that can lead to fatal cancer and lung disease. The problem, though, is that they simply don't know all of the ways that asbestos has been used. It's good to know that it's dangerous, but where does that danger lie? What materials and products pose a risk? What should you avoid?

If these are questions you've been asking, below is a list of many products and materials in which asbestos has been used in the past. In some cases, asbestos may still be used in imported products today, even though use is largely outlawed in the United States.