Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that was once used for a lot of applications. While asbestos mining stopped in the United States, it’s still found in various places in this country.
Before the dangers of asbestos were known, it was used in many products because it’s so durable. It’s heat resistant, can’t be broken down easily by chemicals, isn’t dissolvable in water and isn’t affected by bacteria.
Anyone who’s been around asbestos should know these three things about exposure to the substance.
1. It’s still more common than most realize
Asbestos is often found in older homes as insulation or in specific components, such as roofing shingles, floor tiles, and wallboard. It’s also present in some brake linings. Talc and some vermiculite products can also contain asbestos.
2. Symptoms can occur decades later
One of the most troublesome aspects of asbestos exposure is that you may not know anything is amiss until decades after you were around the substance. It can take many years for symptoms to start but once they start, it’s a sign that the mesothelioma is spreading aggressively.
3. Different classes of asbestos have different risks
There are two general classes of asbestos – serpentine or amphibole. It appears that amphiboles class asbestos, which includes brown and blue asbestos, as well as three other types, is more likely to cause mesothelioma than serpentine, which is white asbestos.
Anyone who’s been exposed to asbestos should ensure they’re getting proper medical care even if they aren’t showing symptoms of the condition. If you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma, they may opt to pursue a compensation claim. Time is critical in these cases, so don’t delay once you’re diagnosed.