Is Asbestos Exposure Only Bad in Large Doses?
There’s no doubt that asbestos is a dangerous substance. Asbestos is a leading cause of occupational cancer and more than 3,000 new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed each year.
This is in addition to other asbestos-related illnesses including asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer. Simply put, asbestos is a serious carcinogen that takes lives every day.
In part two of our 12 part asbestos myth campaign to expose asbestos myths, we’ll address myths about asbestos exposure.
Myth – Asbestos Exposure Only Dangerous in Large Quantities
Fact – Although the EPA has published an asbestos exposure tolerance level they feel is safe, it is not known how small an exposure to asbestos can cause illness.
Fact – There are two aspects to consider in terms of asbestos exposure and one is duration. Low dose exposure over time is very likely as dangerous as short term high dosage.
Fact – Smoking can aggravate the progression of asbestos-related disease and can make even low dose asbestos exposure more deadly.
Fact – Second hand asbestos exposure can cause asbestos illness and this is often at a much lower level than direct exposure. This can result from laundering clothing tainted with asbestos or even hugging a loved on that worked in an asbestos industry.
Fact – Mesothelioma can develop differently in different people – some will have ongoing exposure over a period of years while others may have had just short term exposure and still others were exposed second-hand with no direct exposure.
Fact – Low (or high) dose asbestos exposure is difficult to study in lab settings because lab animals typically used for testing do not have the life span to demonstrate the effects of asbestos exposure which often take decades to gestate.
Fact – Low dose asbestos exposure can happen even in low risk jobs. Building inspectors, teachers and nurses are some of the occupations of asbestos victims.
Fact – Low dose asbestos exposure can be even worse if it runs over an extended period of time but even intermittent or occasional low dose exposure may result in a serious illness.
Fact – You won’t know you’ve been impacted by asbestos exposure until decades later. Mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancers typically gestate for 20-50 years before symptoms manifest and the illness can be diagnosed.
Fact – Low dose asbestos exposure will not typically lead to asbestosis – a type of scarring in the lungs caused by asbestos. This is most commonly associated with high levels of exposure. Low dose exposure has been related to both mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
Asbestos illnesses take lives every day. This toxic fiber is not safe even in low doses. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Bergman Draper Oslund.