One would be surprised to know that everyone breathes a little asbestos in their lives. But, the amounts are so small or of trace levels that they never affect the body. However, some people working in certain occupations have a much higher risk of breathing in asbestos particles than the average person.
People working in construction seem to be the most affected when it comes to asbestos poisoning. A vast majority of asbestos exposure are cases where construction workers destroyed or handles material that contained asbestos, in a not very careful manner. Materials like shingles used for roofing, wallboard materials, cement siding boards and even many forms of tiling contain varying levels of asbestos. Insulation found in old houses also contain significant levels of asbestos that can easily be released into the air if one wasn’t careful.
Ignorance about the risks of asbestos is one of the main reasons why asbestos exposure happens. Either people don’t know that they are dealing with asbestos or they don’t know about asbestos risks at all. Either way, prolonged exposure to asbestos will eventually take its toll.
Scientists tried to suggest that asbestos is a health risk as early as 1920 but it wasn’t until the late 1900’s that the risk become prominent knowledge. This is one of the reasons why most people suffering from asbestos exposure, with mesothelioma, are usually well past their 60s or 70s. This is the case because these unfortunate victims of the disease were ones who were exposed to the cancerous substances about 30 years ago, when they must have been hard working young adults. Science has proved that mesothelioma takes almost 30 years to fully gestate and then become terminal.
Recent health reports suggest that almost a quarter million people in the US currently have mesothelioma or asbestosis, being affected to varying degrees. About 3,000 people die as a direct result of the disease every year.