These tests cannot detect asbestos fibers themselves, but can sometimes find problems, including some types of cancer, that can be caused by the fibers. Some expert groups even recommend that asbestos exposure alone is enough to consider getting regular CT scans to detect lung cancer, regardless of a person’s smoke history. There are indications that family members of workers who are highly exposed to asbestos are at increased risk of developing mesothelioma .
The X-ray cannot detect the asbestos fibers themselves, but can detect early signs of lung disease caused by asbestos. Other tests, such as lung scanning and computer-aided tomography, are also helpful in detecting changes in the lungs. Asbestos is dangerous because it can break down into microscopic thin fibers. These fibers are so small that they can stay in the air for days after they are initially disturbed. Because the fibers are so small, they can travel deep into a person’s lungs, where they can eventually stay in lung tissue.
If you are concerned about asbestos exposure at your workplace, discuss the situation with your health and safety representative or your employer. If necessary, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency responsible for health and safety standards in most workplaces, may provide more information or conduct an inspection. Most cases of mesothelioma are the result of exposure to asbestos at work.
Today, asbestos used in building materials and many other products bind to products. There is little or no risk of harmful health effects of these products. However, be careful not to sand, tear or damage or crumble the material. A complete physical examination, including a chest X-ray and lung function tests, may be recommended.
The Ombudsman has a free hotline for small businesses, business associations and others seeking free and confidential help. People with occupational diseases related to asbestos may also be eligible for financial support, including medical payments, under asbestos management company state worker compensation legislation. Because eligibility requirements vary from state to state, employees employed by private companies or by national and local government agencies should contact the compensation board of their state workers.
Talk to your doctor about regular health checks to look for signs of asbestos-related illness. You can ask if you want to see a doctor who has experience with asbestos-related diseases. Some physicians recommend people with exposure to heavy asbestos to undergo chest X-rays or CT scans and lung function tests.
Lovers of asbestos workers may also be at risk of second-hand exposure. Other sources of exposure include household products, talc or damaged asbestos in older houses and buildings. Asbestos is a mineral that can cause multiple cancers and diseases, including mesothelioma. Exposure is more common in the workplace, but can also occur at home, in the military and / or via asbestos products.