Community Asbestos Awareness

Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

How Asbestos Dust or Fibers Can be Dangerous to Health

  • When working with asbestos, you need to be very careful, as you can face a number of risks and expose yourself and your family to major health issues.
  • Realize that there is not a safe level when it comes to asbestos exposure.
  • Just disturbing asbestos can generate many dangerous particles into the air, in the form or fine dust, which contain the deadly fibers.
  • On top of this, breathing in the asbestos dust can lead to asbestosis, as well as lung cancer.
  • One specific type of cancer, called mesothelioma, is one which is found in the lining of the lungs, and there is no way to cure it.
  • Malignant mesothelioma, which is a form of incurable cancer, is going to see an increase in the number of reported cases over the coming years.
  • It should be noted that the risk of contracting any related diseases will increase as the exposure rate increases. Also, the number of fibers that are inhaled will also add to the likelihood of getting a disease.

Note that the risk of lung cancer from breathing in fibers will be increased if the person concerned smokes. The symptoms will not be apparent until at least twenty years have passed, which makes it a very difficult disease to account for or deal with. In fact, the average time between exposure and the development of cancer is around forty five years.

Asbestos-Related Disease Statistics

We know that the most common type of asbestos-related diseases in Australia is malignant mesothelioma. This is due to the link between exposure and the development of this type of disease. Statistics show that over ten thousand people are now diagnosed with this form of cancer in Australia (between 1982 and 2009). Men make up 82% of the known cases. Another six hundred cases have been reported since 2003 and diagnosed.


Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which starts in the lining of the thoracic and abdominal cavities. The disease will usually be in an advanced stage before it is diagnosed, which is why treatment is almost impossible. In general, the survival time for diagnosed patients is ten months. Even just a little exposure is enough to trigger this severe, fatal disease. As noted, there can be forty years before symptoms become clear.

Pleural Disease

This is an inflammation of the outer lining of the lung, which is where the asbestos fibers will find themselves settling. When this happens, this area of the lungs will stiffen and get thick in certain areas. They can then fill with fluid.


This refers to the scarring of the lungs, when it gets inflamed and scarred, which makes breathing difficult.

Lung Cancer

The risk of lung cancer is very strong when a person is exposed to asbestos, especially when they smoke.

Updated: December 31, 2015 — 3:24 am

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