Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure

There are a total of six natural minerals that occur naturally in our environment and fibres that can be separated for industrial and commercial use in household appliances. These minerals are collectively called asbestos.


These asbestos minerals can further be separated into two groups the amphibole asbestos and the serpentine asbestos. The latter includes the mineral known as chrysotile which comes with curly and long fibres that are usually used in commercial appliances.

The former on the other hand amphibole asbestos are usually made up of the minerals tremolite, actinolite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, and amosite. The fibres that make up the amphibole asbestos is characterised by straight needle-like shapes.

Please, fibres are not as strong as those of serpentine asbestos, and their ability to be fabricated is a lot more limited than others.

What are the potential health risks of exposure to asbestos?

As we have earlier pointed out asbestos are used in the production of a lot of things and also they come with their own health risks. The construction industry is where asbestos is used for strengthening plastic and cement roofing insulation fireproofing sound absorption floor tiles and a lot more.

There are many other industries where asbestos is used as aids day construction industry they’re used by automotive industries, build shipping industries and a lot of others.

Because asbestosis is used for many things, it is possible for people to get exposed to it in their place of work in their communities and even in their homes.

These materials can get distributed through the aid, and they might even end up in your lungs. If they can find their way into your lungs, you can suffer from inflammation and scarring which would lead to breathing difficulties and some other health problems.

The most popular health risk that is associated with exposure to asbestos is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is linked to the exposure of asbestos.

When a person is at a stage four mesothelioma his or her chances of survival become extremely slim and according to statistics as soon as a person hits stage four of this illness that person has just about 12 months to live.


The dangers of exposure to asbestos are evident, but regardless of this we still have products made from asbestos on our shelves.

Asbestos has been classified as a carcinogenic substance by the united states environmental protection agency as well as the united states department of health and human services. Another body that classifies asbestos as a carcinogenic substance is the international agency for research on cancer.

There is no arguing about asbestos is a culprit of mesothelioma. This kind of cancer is one that occurs on the same membrane which separates the human chest and the abdomen.

So far sufficient evidence has been gathered to prove that mesothelioma is indeed caused by exposure to asbestos; however, there is limited evidence to support any theory that claims asbestos can lead to stomach pharynx and colorectal cancer.

While mesothelioma is one of the primary effects of exposure to asbestos, it is not the only health dangers associated with asbestos exposure. One other health risk that people have to deal with when exposed to asbestos is the condition known as asbestosis.

Asbestosis is an inflammatory condition that affects a person’s lungs and makes them to suffer from shortness of breath premature lung damage as well as coughing. Asbestosis can also lead to non-malignant lung and pleural disorders like being pleural effusion, pleural thickening, and pleural plaques.

The evidence available is still not enough to support the theory that pleural diseases can increase the risk of cancer. Nevertheless, there are cases where patients exposed to plural diseases later developed lung cancer as a result of their exposure to asbestos.

What are the possible ways to protect yourself from asbestos exposure?


A lot of us would like to assume that the people who are mostly exposed to asbestos are those who work in the maritime, manufacturing services, workplaces, and construction companies.

You can find clear regulation in place by the occupational safety and health administration which is vital that workers who work in these industries follow so that they can limit their exposure to asbestos.


We hope that you find this piece of writing very helpful and educating, please do not hesitate to share on social media and also leave a comment below if you have any suggestions or opinions that you feel will be useful to us.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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