FAQ

1. How Can People Be Exposed To Asbestos?

Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.

2. Why Is Asbestos Hazardous?

Asbestos is made up of microscopic fibers that can easily become airborne and inhaled. Because of their shape, the asbestos particles cling to tissues of the lungs and other areas of the respiratory system.

Over time, these tiny fibers can cause inflammation, causing a number of health problems, the three biggest of which are:

  • Mesothelioma — This aggressive cancer forms in the thin membrane (mesothelium) that protects vital organs in the chest and abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the only medically-verified cause of the disease.
  • Lung Cancer — Most commonly associated with factors like smoking and radon, lung cancer is also known to be exacerbated by exposure to asbestos.
  • Asbestosis — This degenerative respiratory condition results from the formation of scar tissue plaques on the surface of the pleura (lung linings). It can be a precursor to the onset of mesothelioma.

3. How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma

Millions of people have been exposed to asbestos due to its extensive use in domestic, commercial, and industrial products. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure however, the longer and more intense the exposure, the more likely an individual is to develop mesothelioma cancer or another asbestos disease.

  • Exposure to asbestos can also increase the likelihood of other types of lung cancer. Smoking also exacerbates asbestos-related diseases.
  • Asbestos can still be found in myriad homes, schools, and commercial or industrial buildings.
  • Asbestos was once used in more than 3,000 consumer products, including common household items such as toasters and hair dryers, some of which may still be in use.