You’ve probably heard about asbestos, but do you know what this heat-resistant, manufacturing substance was all about? It has a long history of use, but today, asbestos is no longer made in the United States because of its serious and potentially harmful elements, and yet, it is still found in some household items and still lurks in older buildings. It’s important to know the symptoms of asbestos and if its exposure has affected your body.
Toxic Since 1924
Asbestos was popular many years ago, but health problems related to its dust began surfacing, and in 1924, the British Medical Journal began recording these illnesses, and later, the U.K. established dust regulations to protect factory laborers. Meantime, the United States was using asbestos almost everywhere after WWII, and it was showing up in building insulation, adhesives, kids’ coloring crayons, and more.
By the mid-1950s, scientists discovered a strong link between asbestos and lung cancer, and the unique fiber became known as a very dangerous mineral.
Unfortunately, asbestos exposure can linger.
1. Shortness Of Breath
Symptoms of asbestos in your system can first appear as common signs of other conditions. For example, shortness of breath is one of the first indications that you would probably be noticing. This means that you are not receiving enough oxygen, and yet, this sign can also be related to an asthma attack, allergies, anemia, a heart attack, a problem with the aorta, a blood clot in the lungs, etc.
Asbestos exposure symptoms usually begin in the lungs, where lung diseases often develop from the toxic dust.
Here is another common symptom that you may not typically connect with asbestos exposure but can be a general indicator of its presence. It can happen when trying to draw one’s breath. Wheezing can emerge because of inflammation that is building up in the lungs.
Those who smoke know what wheezing feels like and often experience a distinct whistling sound, especially when taking a deep breath. The same can occur when asbestos is in your body.
3. Persistent Dry Cough
Asbestos can remain undetectable in the system for many years, and a persistent cough is a symptom that can last and last even beyond some 40 years of initial exposure. It occurs because of scar tissue forming in the lungs over a lengthy period.
That is why it’s important to contact a legal expert like an experienced Mesothelioma attorney in Louisville, KY for advice if you are or were at risk of asbestos. The toxic fiber has not only been found in the manufacturing industry, building construction companies, etc. Any structures constructed before the 1980s can also still contain this dangerous mineral.
4. Swollen Fingertips
In about 50% of asbestos-related cases, swollen fingertips are another indication that you could have the disease present in your body, according to medical experts. The fingertips start to appear wider and rounder, and this can also take place on the toes.
Asbestosis causes a “clubbing” of the nails, and this can take the place in the form of the nails curving downward. Symptoms can also feature bulging fingertips, nail widening, and a soft nail bed.
Swollen fingertips can also develop from other lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and lung cancer.
5. Extreme Tiredness
Those with asbestos exposure can often feel very fatigued, especially as the disease progresses and other symptoms develop, including weight loss, hormonal changes, anemia, blood component imbalances, breathing difficulty, loss of appetite, etc.
Fatigue is an unpredictable sign in most people who have been exposed to asbestos. One day, you can be full of energy, and the next day, you’re lethargic to even perform regular tasks and need plenty of rest.
Your primary care physician can help you be screened for an asbestos-related condition based on your symptoms. X-rays and a CT scan are commonly used to determine if asbestos is present in the body.
Asbestos, the naturally-occurring mineral fiber, is dangerous and kills almost 3,000 Americans every year. Breathing in the dust can trigger a variety of health problems, including lethal diseases and cancer. Watch for symptoms, seek medical attention, and contact legal advice for guidance.