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Asbestos: A Timeline of Building Hazards

Have you ever seen a home or building that needed great repair? If you've ever watched a house or building be demolished you've probably witnessed all of the inner dealings and workings that helped bring it together. From the foundation that was laid down to the cement and paint that was applied after building. Any builder knows that there's an art to building any structure that requires a lot of time and effort. What many may know is that asbestos was a key substance often utilized in building materials and played an important role during the Industrial Age.

Asbestos has a history that dates back to prehistoric times. Although it's known today as a poisonous substance that can greatly affect those who come in contact with it, asbestos came into popularity during the Industrial Age when its fire retardant properties were used in the construction and automobile industries. You would be surprised to learn that asbestos was a key ingredient used in building property many years ago because of the quality minerals that it contains.

The history of asbestos

Archaeologists uncovered asbestos fibers in debris dating back to the Stone Age, roughly 750,000 years ago. Between 2000-3000 BC, embalmed Egyptian pharaohs were wrapped in asbestos cloth to protect their bodies from deterioration. Asbestos refers to six unique substances: amosite, chrysotile, tremolite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite. Each of these substances has held a unique functionality to them that includes paint materials, drywall, and plumbing materials. Some were even in children's toys.

When it became dangerous

Asbestos  would continue to be utilized until 1897 when an Austrian doctor attributed pulmonary problems in a patient to the inhalation of asbestos dust. The first documented death of an asbestos worker from pulmonary failure was 1906. Today, asbestos is best known as a deadly substance to avoid as exposure to it leads to aggressive cancers.  Mesothelioma is the unfortunate outcome of inhalation of the substance. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that requires aggressive treatment. Anyone exposed to mesothelioma should seek immediate medical assistance since it can lead to death.

Treatment for mesothelioma

There are three types of mesothelioma, Pieural, Pericardial, and Peritoneal. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the cardiac cavity, while Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdominal cavity. Chronic coughing and hacking is a symptom of mesothelioma as it affects respiration and makes life very uncomfortable. Like any cancer, these alter the patient's life and function. It can lead to ovarian cancer, lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, and other serious diseases.

Due to its severity and aggressive nature, it is a difficult disease to treat. Treatment plans consist of aggressive chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.

Seek medical assistance

If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos and is suffering from mesothelioma, seek immediate care. You want to make sure that they receive care as soon as possible as the disease is emotionally and physically debilitating. To learn more about the causes and treatment of mesothelioma, it is important to research and educate yourself on treatment options. The more you learn, the better the outcome.