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Depending on the person , symptoms of asbestos exposure can take between 10-50 years to develop.

Asbestos dust in lungs

How does Asbestos make you ill?

When broken/damaged ,  asbestos produces a dust which contains sharp, thin fibres that the body cannot break down. Lodged fibre(s) which have been inhaled, cause the body’s immune system to build up scar tissue around them , in an attempt to remove.

The scar tissue hardens the lungs over time , which makes it difficult for the lungs to fill with air. Lack of air causes lack of oxygen to the body and resulting in health issues.  

What happens if I breathe Asbestos dust only once?

Asbestos does not have a limit for humans. However, in the event of a one-time exposure, the odds of developing a life-threatening condition is low. In general, asbestos has the worst effects if someone has been exposed on a regular basis (over a long period of time) or has been exposed to an extreme concentration.

What are the immediate signs of illness after asbestos exposure?

There are no immediate side effects of asbestos exposure.

If you develop a sore throat or a scratchy sensation on your throat , this will be due to dust exposure and not asbestos as it takes several years for symptoms of asbestos exposure to develop.

Should I tell my GP if I think I have been exposed to asbestos?

If you think you have been exposed to Asbestos it would be best to inform your GP. With symptoms taking between 10-50 years to develop, the initial immediate exposure may not be of urgent concern, however, a note will be placed on your file and they may request to monitor you.

If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and are displaying symptoms related to asbestos exposure, inform your GP straight away so they can investigate this further.

What are the symptoms of Asbestos Related Disease?

Diseases such as Asbestosis, Mesothelioma, pleural thickening and lung cancer take between 10-50 years to develop. Symptoms of these asbestos-related diseases include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry cough and wheezing
  • Crackling sound when breathing
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Respiratory complications

What do you do if you think you have found Asbestos in your home?

If you are carrying out DIY at home and think you have found asbestos , the best thing to do is stop work and contact a specialist company who can take a sample. Asbestos testing in the localised area will determine if the material you have found is asbestos or not.

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