While the use of asbestos has been strictly controlled since the 1970’s due to its health risks, it remains in older building materials and some newer ones where its use has not been prohibited. Construction workers are exposed to this toxic substance in many common materials and products, such as duct tape, siding, spray-on insulation products, and drywall products. Unfortunately, this can lead to them developing life-altering and potentially fatal illnesses.
Four Diseases Construction Workers Develop From Asbestos Exposure
Many of the medical conditions that develop from asbestos exposure affect the respiratory system and reduce the person’s lung function and breathing. These diseases can leave the construction worker with long-term serious medical problems and limitations on his day-to-day activities—if it is not fatal. It can take years of exposure before the worker knows he has developed a lung disease. Some of these serious disorders include:
This is an aggressive form of asbestos cancer that affects the membranes surrounding the lungs whose only cause is asbestos exposure. It can take years to develop, and any construction worker exposed to asbestos who experiences shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pains, and fatigue should be tested for this.
A construction worker could develop lung cancer that attacks the tissue in the lungs—with possible deadly consequences. A person who also smokes is at higher risk of developing one of these cancers.
This is a chronic lung problem causing significant scarring which leads to long-term breathing problems and limitations on the worker’s day-to-day life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease.
Asbestos exposure has been linked to gastrointestinal, colorectal, kidney, throat, esophageal, and gallbladder cancers, although the findings are inconclusive.
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