Asbestos Exposure: What Is It and What Can You Do About It?
March 17, 20233 min read
By Fay Smith
Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of work-related death worldwide. Globally, around 90,000 people die each year due to asbestos-related diseases. Given these statistics, understanding what asbestos exposure does and how you can protect yourself may help prevent or manage the symptoms.
If you’ve been working in a job where you’re near asbestos products, you’re at high risk of developing symptoms of asbestos exposure, such as wheezing, difficulty on breathing, and a persistent cough.
Asbestos exposure causes various respiratory diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma and its four stages. Although the United States has passed regulations limiting asbestos use since the 1970s, many products containing this material still exist.
What can you do about asbestos exposure? Can a nebulizer system help if you develop respiratory conditions caused by asbestos exposure?
What Happens When You Get Exposed to Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral you can find in nature. Fibers from this material are heat-resistant and have numerous applications, like insulation, flooring, and brakes.
The downside is that this material can produce dust when asbestos breaks up, either due to mining the mineral or removing insulation. If you inhale or swallow this dust, it can settle in your lungs or stomach and irritate these organs.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states that asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer type affecting the thin membranes lining your chest and abdomen. Asbestos can also cause lung, larynx, and ovary cancers.
Everyone can be exposed to asbestos at any point in their lives. However, those regularly working with asbestos are usually the ones who become ill. These people often have occupations involving direct contact with or substantial environmental exposure to the material.
Workers who are likely at risk of significant asbestos exposure include:
Selected military personnel
If you’re diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, your doctor can request additional tests like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computer tomography) scans of your lungs and abdomen.
How Nebulizers Can Help With Respiratory Conditions Due to Asbestos Exposure
Nebulizers can help relax your breathing muscles and allow the air to flow more easily through your lungs. These devices can also help loosen mucus in your lungs to prevent or reduce wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness in your chest.
Nebulizers can be used to deliver fast-acting and controller medicines, such as:
Bronchodilators for opening narrowed airways
Corticosteroids for reducing airway swelling
Nebulizers also come in different versions depending on your needs. In particular, JustNebulizers.com offers the following products:
Tabletop nebulizers: Piston compressors for high-viscosity medications and generally placed on a desk or table at home
Portable nebulizers: Small and quiet devices that work well with low-viscosity medicines that you can inhale directly from the unit
Travel nebulizers: Compressors that are slightly larger than the portable ones and intended for use with a nebulizer set
Consider using portable or travel nebulizers if you’re a frequent traveler but have asbestos-related respiratory conditions. But if you’re at home most of the time, tabletop nebulizers may be more practical.
For advice and tips on using nebulizers, the JustNebulizers website has a rich resource of information, from taking care of your device to managing your pets’ respiratory conditions.
For more information on JustNebulizers’ products or to get individualized recommendations, call 1-888-550-2450 from Mondays to Fridays, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). You can also fill out an online form on the JustNebulizers website to receive an email reply.