Understanding asbestos-related illnesses

Most Minnesota residents have likely heard of asbestos but may not necessarily know really what it is. Commonly utilized in several construction, automotive or industrial applications over a long period of time, asbestos has been the cause of many work-related illnesses. Employees who have suffered from diseases related to asbestos do not have minor issues but often very major health concerns to contend with.

WebMD.com explains that asbestos is not really just one thing but rather a grouping of different microscopic fibers known and originally prized for their strength and resistance to chemical breakdowns and heat. These qualities made them ideal for use in a myriad of industries. However, over time, it became known that these same characteristics in some form made asbestos harmful to humans.

According to mesothelioma.com, not only are asbestos fibers easy to ingest due to their tiny size but they do not pass through a person’s system. Instead, they attach commonly in the respiratory tract and lungs. Over time, the presence of these asbestos fibers can lead to serious and even life-threatening diseases. Mesothelioma is itself a form of lung cancer and is perhaps one of the diseases most commonly associated with asbestos.

When identifying if the development of a condition was due to asbestos exposure, several factors are considered. These include any pre-existing health conditions or risks that a person may have had such as being a long-term smoker. The type of asbestos fibers to which a person was exposed and the duration over which exposure occurred may also significant contributors to a final diagnoses.