Firefighters And Asbestos Exposure Risk
Firefighters have a greater risk of mesothelioma since their duties can put them in contact with asbestos exposure.
Between the 1930s and early 1980s, asbestos was commonly used to make homes, office buildings, and other structures. Asbestos materials like siding and insulation were highly durable and reduced the risk of fires but if disturbed, they released microscopic fibers into the air. Those who inhale or swallow asbestos fibers can develop mesothelioma decades later.
Did you know
Firefighters were put at risk if fires and smoke sent microscopic fibers flying into the air. Sadly, since many old buildings still contain asbestos-based products, the risk of exposure remains high for firefighters today.
Its not just firefighters in North Carolina, either its firefighters everywhere. For example, over 100 firefighters in Houston were possibly exposed to asbestos in May 2021 after an older building caught fire.
Fortunately, every state offers cancer benefits for firefighters and first responders.
What Expert Agencies Say
Several national and international agencies study substances in the environment to determine if they can cause cancer. The American Cancer Society looks to these organizations to evaluate the risks based on evidence from laboratory, animal, and human research studies.
Based on animal and human evidence like the examples above, several expert agencies have evaluated the cancer-causing nature of asbestos.
The;International Agency for Research on Cancer ;is part of the World Health Organization . One of its goals is to identify causes of cancer. IARC classifies asbestos as carcinogenic to humans, based on its ability to cause mesothelioma and cancers of the lung, larynx , and ovaries.
The;National Toxicology Program ;is formed from parts of several different US government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the Food and Drug Administration . The NTP has classified asbestos as known to be a human carcinogen.
The;US Environmental Protection Agency ;maintains the Integrated Risk Information System , an electronic database that contains information on human health effects from exposure to various substances in the environment. The EPA classifies asbestos as a human carcinogen.
Types Of Asbestos Caused Cancers That Are Eligible For Compensation
Mesothelioma is cancer that is exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. About 75% of mesothelioma cancers affect the lining of the lung , whereas 20% of mesotheliomas develop in the abdominal lining .
Rarely, mesothelioma does occur in the lining of the heart and testes. Asbestos-related cancers are caused by the inhalation and/or ingestion of asbestos fibers that often get lodged in lung tissues.
Over the years, these fibers get accumulated as our body will not be able to expel or dissolve the asbestos material.
These fibers also migrate to other organs and tissues throughout the body. This is the reason why scientists began to study the connection between asbestos and other types of cancer.
Eligible asbestos caused diseases. You have 3 years to file for a claim. Contact us right away.
“Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the US and the greatest health risk for American asbestos workers,” according to OSHA. Studies have shown that asbestos kills twice as many people with lung cancer than mesothelioma. At least 4% of lung cancer cases are related to asbestos exposure. The risk of lung cancer is higher among smokers who have been additionally exposed to asbestos. Smoking and asbestos exposure drastically weaken the lungs and smokers with past exposure are more likely to develop lung cancer.
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How Asbestos Causes Cancer
The truth is: There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and there never has been.
Asbestos and all commercial forms of asbestos are known to be human carcinogens based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans.
National Toxicology Program, Department of Health and Human Services
When an asbestos-containing product or material is broken, disturbed, or destroyed, asbestos fibers are released into the air around them. If these fibers are breathed in or swallowed, they will enter the body and get stuck.
Asbestos fibers can get trapped inside:
- One or both lungs
- The protective lining of the lungs
- The chest wall or protective abdominal lining
- The hearts protective lining
- Other areas of the body, including the larynx and ovaries
Sadly, most people who are exposed to asbestos will not notice or feel any health effects at first. This is because asbestos-related diseases often take a few decades to develop. It typically takes between 20-50 years for cancer to develop after someone was first exposed to the carcinogen.
Early on, asbestos fibers will only cause mild irritation and inflammation. The problem lies in how long this inflammation persists. Asbestos fibers cannot be broken down or removed from the human body. As a result, the damage they inflict only worsens over time.
Asbestos Exposure Time
Asbestos Danger In The Us
In the U.S., the National Toxicology Program declared asbestos a proven human carcinogen in 1980 and the Environmental Protection Agency followed suit in 1986. The scientific community is in agreement, say researchers, that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, and that there is no evidence of a threshold level below which there is no risk of mesothelioma. Though it has not been completely banned from our marketplaces, asbestos is much less prevalent than it was just a few decades ago.
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How To Prevent Mesothelioma
The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. To minimize your risk, always wear protective gear and follow safety precautions when working with asbestos.;
A knowledgeable professional can check your home if you suspect you have asbestos or see any damage that could lead to exposure. If asbestos needs to be removed, hire a qualified contractor dont remove materials yourself as you could further contaminate your home.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, watch for symptoms;and speak to your doctor.
How Is Asbestos Used
Asbestos has been mined and used commercially in North America since the late 1800s. Its use increased greatly during World War II . Since then, asbestos has been used in many industries. For example, the building and construction industries have used it for strengthening cement and plastics as well as for insulation, roofing, fireproofing, and sound absorption. The shipbuilding industry has used asbestos to insulate boilers, steam pipes, and hot water pipes. The automotive industry uses asbestos in vehicle brake shoes and clutch pads. Asbestos has also been used in ceiling and floor tiles; paints, coatings, and adhesives; and plastics. In addition, asbestos has been found in vermiculite-containing garden products and some talc-containing crayons.
In the late 1970s, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of asbestos in wallboard patching compounds and gas fireplaces because the asbestos fibers in these products could be released into the environment during use. In addition, manufacturers of electric hairdryers voluntarily stopped using asbestos in their products in 1979. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned all new uses of asbestos; however, uses developed before 1989 are still allowed. The EPA also established regulations that require school systems to inspect buildings for the presence of damaged asbestos and to eliminate or reduce asbestos exposure to occupants by removing the asbestos or encasing it .
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How Can I Avoid Exposure To Asbestos
If there is a possibility you might be exposed to asbestos at work, such as during renovating old buildings, you should use the proper protective equipment, work practices, and safety procedures designed for working around asbestos. If youre concerned about asbestos exposure in your workplace, discuss the situation with your employee health and safety representative or your employer. If needed, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration , the federal agency responsible for health and safety regulations in most workplaces, can provide more information or make an inspection.
If you live in an older home, it might contain asbestos-containing insulation or other materials. A knowledgeable expert can check your home to determine if there is any asbestos and if it poses any risk of exposure. This may involve testing the air for asbestos levels. If asbestos needs to be removed from your home, hire a qualified contractor to perform this job to avoid contaminating your home further or causing any exposure to your family or to the workers. You should not attempt to remove asbestos-containing material yourself.
Studies Done In The Lab
Tests on several different rodent species, using different methods of exposure, have confirmed that asbestos causes cancer in animals. All forms of asbestos have produced tumors in animals, but the size and shape of the asbestos fibers influence the incidence of tumors. Smaller, straighter fibers seem more hazardous, perhaps because they are more likely to reach the deepest parts of the lungs.
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General Formula For Va Ratings For Prostate Cancer
Thee VA rating for prostate cancer generally works like this.
While the veterans prostate cancer is still active in the official language of the VA rating schedule, this means there is local reoccurrence or metastasis of a malignant neoplasm of the genitourinary system he will be rated 100%
Once the veterans prostate cancer goes into remission, the veteran will be rated for voiding dysfunction or renal dysfunction, whichever is predominant.
Help For Firefighters & Veterans With Mesothelioma
The North Carolina study of firefighters and asbestos is key for helping people in the future. Policymakers need data in order to be able to make informed choices about public health and safety.
With the data collected through the cancer registry, we plan to give legislators and other officials more solid information so they can help protect the firefighters and first responders who protect their communities.
State Fire Marshal Mike Causey
Hopefully, state legislators will pass laws that give North Carolina firefighters the same cancer benefits as those offered in every other state.
If you or a loved one that has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have options. Our team may be able help you pursue vital services like medical care, VA benefits for veterans, and financial compensation. Get a free veterans packet for more information.
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Filing A Claim For Asbestos
If you have a history of asbestos exposure, you should have regular health check-ups and watch out for symptoms of cancer.
Around 20% of those who were exposed to asbestos will develop a related disease in the future and, in most cases, the disease will affect the lungs.
As asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period, there are serious risks even after the exposure period has ended. With the support of our team of specialists, you can learn whether you have cause for concern or not. We offer free screenings, based on your latest X-rays.
We possess extensive experience in handling toxic tort cases. Our dedicated staff will evaluate your case thoroughly and help you file a claim. Call us at if you have been diagnosed with any asbestos-related disease.
What Are The Health Hazards Of Exposure To Asbestos
People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems .
Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , and the International Agency for Research on Cancer . According to IARC, there is sufficient evidence that asbestos causes mesothelioma , and cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovary . Although rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. There is limited evidence that asbestos exposure is linked to increased risks of cancers of the stomach, pharynx, and colorectum .
Asbestos exposure may also increase the risk of asbestosis and other nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including pleural plaques , pleural thickening, and benign pleural effusions . Although pleural plaques are not precursors to lung cancer, evidence suggests that people with pleural disease caused by exposure to asbestos may be at increased risk for lung cancer .
Erionite has also been classified as a known human carcinogen by IARC and by HHS . It is not currently regulated by the EPA.
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In Your Community And At Home: How You May Be Exposed To Asbestos
In Canada,;;are the ones who are most exposed to it.
You may be exposed to asbestos from materials from other countries or products that have asbestos in them. Some older buildings still contain asbestos. As these structures begin to wear with age or get renovated, you can be exposed to asbestos fibres released into the air and breathed into the lungs.
Do everything you can to avoid breathing in asbestos fibres. Asbestos fibres that are left alone when they are enclosed or tightly bound in a product do not pose the same health risk as asbestos fibres that are released into the air and breathed into the lungs.
Before starting any home renovations or demolition around areas that may contain asbestos, have a professional contractor experienced in removing asbestos safely inspect your home.
Whats The Cancer Connection
When looking at cancer risks, itâs key to separate talc with asbestos from talc without it. Scientists say itâs clear that people who breathe in talc with asbestos are more likely to get cancer, especially if they do it regularly. The World Health Organizationâs International Agency for Research on Cancer lists it as carcinogenic .
But concerns about talc without asbestos are more complex. Researchers have looked into two main questions:
Can you get lung cancer if you regularly breathe in talcum powder?
For most people, the answer is no. There is no proof that youâre more likely to get lung cancer if you use baby powder or some other form of cosmetic talcum powder thatâs easy to breathe in.
Some studies show a slightly higher risk in people who are involved in talc mining and processing. But itâs not clear whether this is because of the mineral or because of other things underground known to cause lung cancer, like the radioactive gas radon.
Can women get ovarian cancer from regular use of talcum powder on their genitals?
A study of more than 250,000 women between 1976 and 2017 found no significant link between womenâs use of talcum powder on their genitals and ovarian cancer. Still, scientists continue to study the topic. It may be that talc raises the risk for people in certain age groups or for particular types of ovarian cancer.
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What Makes Asbestos Dangerous
Asbestos fibres are released into the air when people handle asbestos-containing materials with poor safety procedures. Asbestos fibres are around 50 to 200 times thinner than a human hair, can be invisible and be breathed in easily. They can become trapped deep in your lungs and cause damage over a long time.
The two asbestos-containing material groups include:
- Bonded ;asbestos;materials, made up of a bonding agent with asbestos fibres added. They usually contain less than 15% of asbestos and normally do not release fibres unless they are disturbed, damaged or have deteriorated over time.
- Friable ;asbestos;materials are those which can be crumbled or reduced to powder by hand. Bonded asbestos can become friable if severely fire damaged or crusted. Friable asbestos materials are the most dangerous as the fibres can be released into the air.
Asbestos Cancer Risk Factors
Simply being exposed to asbestos is only one part of a much larger issue. While anyone who has been exposed to asbestos is at risk of developing cancer, some factors increase your risk.
These factors include:
- Repeated asbestos exposure: Statistically speaking, people who regularly came into contact with asbestos fibers are at a higher risk of developing cancer. Repeated exposure typically comes from working at a certain kind of job site. However, it may also come from a school or home. The greatest risk is for those who were regularly exposed over several months or years.
- Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use: Though not direct causes of asbestos-related cancers, tobacco and drug use, smoking, and drinking alcohol, can increase a persons odds of developing asbestos-related cancers when they have been exposed to asbestos fibers.
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Subgroup Analysis By Basic Characteristics
The SMRs from PCas varied in people exposed to different types of asbestos. Our results showed that SMRs from such cancers was higher in workers exposed to crocidolite when compared with those exposed to chrysotile asbestos . The differences were statistically significant. The SMRs from PCas in workers exposed to mixed asbestos was 1.10 . Moderate heterogeneity was detected for subgroup of mixed asbestos and crocidolite asbestos .2). The types of industry play an important role in influencing the SMRs from PCas in asbestos-exposed workers. The pooled SMR for cement workers was significantly elevated and for Mixed workers whereas not for miners and textile workers, as well as other workers including refitting shipyard workers, plant manufacturing workers and refinery and petrochemical plant workers, which is shown in Figure S2. The results in mixed industries had significant heterogeneity. The pooled SMR were 1.17 and 0.89 separately for workers in mining and other industries with significant heterogeneity in mines . A single study published in 2017 collected residents living in houses insulated with asbestos shows a higher SIR in PCa .
Incidence Of Prostate Cancer
Among 723,566 male participants, 15,687 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed. Results were expressed with SIR in 9 studies,,,,,,,,, ranging from 0.70 to 2.47; with SMR in 19 studies; with SRR in 1 study; and with HR in 1 study. Eight studies found an increased risk of prostate cancer,,,,,, with a risk from 1.06 to 2.91 . Twenty-five studies did not retrieve an increased risk of prostate cancer,,,,,, with a nonsignificant risk from 0.70 to 2.56 .
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