What To Do If You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos
Do you know what asbestos is? Asbestos is a mineral that has heat and chemical-resistant properties. If you work in any construction or manufacturing industry, you would also know about the advantages and disadvantages of using this material. Asbestos is a commonly used substance for the construction of soundproof and heatproof buildings and the manufacturing of products. Though it has some advantages, there is also a huge downside to exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos causes several benign and non-benign diseases among workers exposed to asbestos. It is a harmful mineral for the human body. When you inhale asbestos fibers, your body’s immunity system develops mechanisms to fight against the foreign particles resulting in chronic diseases.
The most important thing to do while working in an asbestos-related sector you must know what to do if you have been exposed to asbestos. The action varies depending on your health condition, for instance, whether you show symptoms or not and the severity of the disease.
Consult Your Doctor
The first crucial step that you need to take after asbestos exposure is to consult with your doctor. Though workers of asbestos-related industries are at higher risk of developing chronic diseases, limited exposure is not enough to cause you serious harm.
Regular exposure to asbestos for a long duration can affect your health and cause asbestos-related diseases such as pleural plaques, asbestosis, mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer, etc. Chronic diseases caused by asbestos generally take years to show symptoms. For instance, it takes a long duration of 10 to 40 years to have symptoms of cancer after asbestos exposure. It is a good idea to schedule a regular checkup and get your health monitored by a doctor.
Get a Diagnosis
The constant monitoring of your health and early diagnosis after asbestos exposure can prevent serious illnesses. The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases are common such as cough, difficulty in breathing, and chest pain. The severity of the disease often causes coughing up blood, weight loss, and constant pain in the lower back and shoulder.
There are various options available to diagnose patients who have been exposed to asbestos. As it mainly affects the proper functioning of the lungs, your doctor may ask you to take deep breaths and see the working of your lungs. In addition, imaging tests such as X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scans of the chest, and abdomen area are also recommended by physicians to identify the affected areas of the lungs.
Immediate Remove Yourself from Asbestos Site
Asbestos-related illnesses such as pleural plaques and asbestosis are not reversible and even lead to lung cancer if unchecked. The best way to deal with asbestos-related diseases is to focus on prevention and severity of symptoms. You must immediately remove yourself from asbestos exposure. If you cannot leave your job for any reason, make sure to get awareness about the safety limits. Consult with an occupational specialist who is well versed with safety protocols and can guide you regarding safety measures while exposed to asbestos in the future. The use of well-ventilated workplaces and personal protective equipment can prevent the spread of asbestos-related diseases.
Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Unhealthy life habits such as smoking tobacco can trigger the spread of asbestos-related diseases, especially lung cancer. Inhaling asbestos in combination with smoking can prove fatal for you. Smoking is the root cause of lung cancer, and when your body is exposed to any harmful substances such as asbestos while smoking, it is easier to get lungs damaged. Quit smoking and make a habit of doing breathing exercises to monitor your health and any change in your breathing pattern. Try to get an early diagnosis and treatment if you face any problems in breathing. Don’t ignore the chest infection or constant coughing; assess the degree of impairment to control it before it becomes too late.
Conduct Research on Treatments
Damage done by asbestos exposure to the lungs is not curable. However, several treatment options are available that can reduce or slow down the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases. The nature and type of treatment greatly depend on the stage of the disease. For instance, Oxygen therapy may work best for you if your lungs get scarred after asbestos exposure. In case of cancers like mesothelioma and lung cancer, your doctor may recommend surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. These treatments can work alone or in combination with each other to relieve the symptoms and increase life expectancy.
Take a Legal Aid
The most important thing that you must not forget after getting a diagnosis is to seek legal aid. Consult an attorney who is an expert in dealing with compensation and claims cases. Remember that you can only get compensation if you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease after exposure to this harmful substance.
What is the best time to consult an attorney? It is immediately after getting your medical reports.
With the legal complications and strict deadlines, it is always best to file a lawsuit without losing further time. In addition to medical records, you may need other documents to prove your case and claim for social security disability, workers compensation, and other claims. In the United States, the legal requirements and documentation for compensation and claims may vary in each state. You must know and understand the limitations of filing the workers’ compensation. In the case of applying to the specific program, you must mention the degree of disability and fulfill the criteria for the related program.
Asbestos is a deadly mineral, and your body cannot break it down like other biological substances when it enters the body. You need medical and legal aid while dealing with diseases caused by asbestos. Make sure to contact professionals who are experts in extending support for chronic health like asbestos-related patients.
Read more interesting articles at Health Surgeon