Posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 at 1:10 pm    

Asbestos is a mineral made up of thin tiny fibers. It is used in many products like flooring, paint, ceiling tiles, roofing, car brakes, plastics, adhesives and car clutch pads. Asbestos was made famous because of its fireproof and insulation qualities. However, when asbestos fibers are disturbed they loosen and float around in the air. These small fibers are easily inhaled into a person’s lungs where they lodge because of sharp edges. The asbestos fibers cause scarring on lung tissue if not expelled.

Many years of asbestos exposure can lead to health-related diseases and problems. One such disease is Asbestosis. The main symptoms of the asbestosis include:

  • coughing,
  • shortness of breath,
  • respiratory problems
  • dry crackling sound when inhaling,
  • scarring of the lungs
  • loss of the appetite

Rare symptoms are:

  • the clubbing of the fingers
  • abnormalities in nails.

Unfortunately these symptoms are linked to other diseases. Thus it is of great importance to consult a doctor immediately to diagnose the symptoms. It takes several years for asbestosis to develop. It is determined by the amount of asbestos exposure. Navy veterans in the United States were mainly affected by asbestos exposure. This was because submarines and US Navy ships were covered by asbestos for fireproofing and insulation purposes. Some examples of asbestos exposure areas in Florida are the Tampa Bay, Saint Petersburg and surrounding areas.

Diagnosing asbestos-related diseases can be easily done by consulting a doctor who will conduct:

  • chest x-ray,
  • CT scan of lungs,
  • pulmonary function test
  • Gallium lung scans

The Gallium lung scanner is highly sophisticated with visual imaging which shows the images of any diseased area of the lungs. Once diagnosed with asbestosis or asbestos-related diseases a biopsy may be required. A biopsy is considered the best way to detect the degree of asbestos fibers in specific lung tissue.

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