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Asbestosis Explained: Cause, Symptoms and Treatments

According to the Trades Union Congress, asbestos is main cause of workplace-related deaths in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, individual homeowners can also be affected by asbestos, as it is believed that there are up to 6 million tonnes of this material in buildings around the country.

Although some types of asbestos were banned in the UK in the 1980s, white asbestos was routinely used in construction until 1999, so there are still many public and residential buildings that contain this harmful substance. Due to the serious health conditions that asbestos can cause, it is essential to be familiar with the symptoms of asbestosis so that you can protect yourself and your family from unwanted complications.

What is asbestosis and what causes this disease?

Asbestosis is a medical condition that affects the lungs. Exposure to asbestos (often by living or working in buildings that were constructed using this material) is the main cause of asbestosis. In the past, asbestos was a common material used in construction, as it is highly resistant to flames and provides excellent insulation. However, at the time it was not understood that this substance could penetrate the respiratory system through exposure and inhalation, scarring the lungs and potentially leading to lung cancer.

Common symptoms of asbestosis

When asbestos fibres enter the respiratory system, they coat the lung tissue and the alveoli making it difficult for individuals affected to breathe properly. Common symptoms of asbestosis include having a persistent cough, experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling or deformity in the fingers, face or neck, having difficulty swallowing food or liquids, high blood pressure and loss of appetite. It is important to note that asbestosis symptoms can take a long time to appear following exposure, sometimes taking as long as 20 or 30 years.

Treatment of asbestosis

While there isn’t currently a cure for asbestosis, there are some treatments available that can improve the quality of life of those who have been affected. As individuals who suffer from this condition are prone to infection, it is often recommended to get vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia. Inhalers, anti-inflammatory and oxygen therapy may also be prescribed, along with the use of humidifiers. In severe cases, a lung transplant may be required.

At IES Group we share your health concerns. Our company specialises in asbestos removal and management in Leicester and the east of England. Our ISO-certified company can also provide reliable asbestos surveying services so don’t take a chance on your health and contact us today to receive a quotation for removing asbestos at your premises.

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