Asbestos Information and Definitions

The word asbestos was derived from a Greek word which means inextinguishable or unquenchable. The word asbestos is used to refer to a material that is fibrous and is used in industry, construction etc. It is heat-resistant; and when added to other substances makes them stronger.

The particles from asbestos can become airborne; and when people breathe in these particles, this results in Asbestosis or scarring of lung tissue. These particles can also cause Mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lungs, stomach or heart. There are different types of asbestos which are used; but not all of them cause these diseases.

Asbestos is mined and has been since the late 1800s and millions of people have been affected by the dust from it. In recent years, it has been mandated that anyone working with asbestos wear protective clothing and equipment. Not everyone who is exposed develop diseases caused by asbestos. There have been instances where family members living with asbestos workers develop mesothelioma, possibly from handling the clothing of the asbestos workers. I was surprised to learn this fact myself, I thought it was deadly, period.

Sometimes the symptoms do not show up for 30 or 40 years after exposure. Some of the symptoms are chest pain, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, weight loss and bowel obstruction. However, these symptoms could also be caused by other less serious conditions. Therefore, it is extremely important that you see a doctor about any of these symptoms. Your doctor will conduct various tests and choose the type of treatment needed based on various factors, such as age, medical history, type of Mesothelioma and how far advanced it is.

The different types of Mesothelioma are Pleural, Peritonea and Pericardial. Pleural Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. The Pleura makes a fluid that lubricates so that the lungs can move freely while breathing. This type makes up a large percentage and is the most common. Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the stomach and the fluid that lubricates and protects the stomach. It is a less common type. Pericardial Mesothelioma is the least common type and is a cancer that affects the lining of the heart and the fluid which enables the heart to breathe freely without obstruction.

Some of the kinds of treatments for Mesothelioma are radiation therapy, chemotherapy and sometimes surgery. There is ongoing research concerning possible new treatments for exposure to Asbestos.

You may be surprised to know the Asbestos Definition. The Greeks gave it the right name, and people suffered from Asbestos Poisoning even way back in those days. Since then, millions have died and more are dying each day.

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