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What Are the Different Types of Asbestos Exposure?

24th February 2011
By Wendy Moyer in Law
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Exposure to asbestos can happen in numerable ways. The most common type of asbestos exposure occurs when someone inhales asbestos fibers that are floating in the air.

When these fibers are inhaled the human body finds it extremely difficult to expel the fibers. Consequently they can lodge themselves into the linings of the heart, abdomen, or lungs. If the fibers do become lodged in one's body the areas surrounding the fibers can get irritated and inflamed.

However, the more serious health consequences usually don't exhibit themselves for several decades. Over the course of time, because the body finds it difficult to break these asbestos particles down, they become a constant source of irritation.

When the particles are in the linings of the lungs one of the diseases that can result is asbestosis. In addition, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and a wide variety of other diseases may develop.

Asbestos particles may also be swallowed. This most commonly happens via drinking water. If this happens then the person who has ingested the asbestos particles has an increased risk of developing throat, intestinal, and stomach cancer.

It can be challenging to determine when or how asbestos exposure occurred. The most common type of exposure is what is called "occupational exposure." This exposure occurs when someone works around asbestos.

In the past a lot of employees in a wide variety of occupations were subjected to asbestos exposure. Such workers included miners, shipbuilders, asbestos product manufacturers, brake mechanics, and others.

Another way people can be exposed to asbestos is being in an area where the asbestos exists in its natural state. Although there is little threat of exposure to asbestos if the mineral is left undisturbed, there are places in the United States where the residents have experienced the threat of exposure to this hazardous mineral. Asbestos can be found in many parts of the U.S.

For example, a lot of the naturally occurring asbestos in California is close to the surface of the soil. It is so close that if the soil is disturbed by the wind, construction, landscaping, or another type of human activity, the asbestos fibers will become airborne. And when the fibers become airborne they present the threat of a very real health hazard to those in the vicinity.

Another area where there were serious problems with naturally occurring asbestos is Libby, Montana. Vermiculite was mined there for many decades. The vermiculite contained a large percentage of asbestos. So, when the vermiculite was mined, it released asbestos particles into the air.

In addition, the vermiculite that was mined in Libby and then was subsequently sold in many countries around the world is heavily contaminated with asbestos.

If you suffer from mesothelioma then you may be entitled to compensation from the company responsible for your illness.


To find out about mesothelioma laws, go to

Wendy Moyer on behalf of Sokolove Law.
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