Hazards of Asbestos Exposure
Inhalation of asbestos fibers and silica dust has been found to cause serious respiratory diseases and health problems. Asbestos fibers and silica dust may remain in the lungs and accumulate after prolonged exposure. In severe cases, asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
Silica can cause irreversible lung scarring, known as silicosis, as well as lung cancer. The risk of asbestos and silica-related diseases increases with the length of exposure. Doctors and scientists have not yet been able to establish a threshold level for safe exposure to either substance. Workers and other individuals may develop mesothelioma symptoms no matter how long they were exposed to asbestos.
Those who develop mesothelioma, asbestosis or silicosis have usually been exposed to airborne asbestos or silica for a number of years. Symptoms of these diseases may not manifest until 15- 40 years after the first exposure.
Additional cancers caused by products with asbestos include squamous cell, small cell, oat cell, adenocarcinoma, bronchoalveolar, non-differentiated carcinoma and others.