Meaning of Asbestos
Many times the term asbestos is used synonymously with asbestos. However, these concepts refer to different types of minerals. Therefore, to understand what asbestos is, it is worth remembering the definition of asbestos as well.
The Greek word asbestos (which can be translated as “unstained “) passed into Latin as amiantus and then came to our language as asbestos. It is a non-combustible iron, alumina and lime silicate that has whitish fibers and great flexibility.
As for asbestos, its etymological journey begins in Greek asbestos and continues in Latin asbestos before reaching Spanish. Asbestos is also a mineral and has similar characteristics to asbestos, although its fibers are stiff and hard. This particularity of the fibers, therefore, differentiates asbestos from asbestos.
It is important to note that asbestos and asbestos are harmful to health. In ancient times, warnings about the health risk involved in handling these minerals were already recorded. So today, asbestos is banned in several countries in Europe and its use was reduced.
Beyond warnings and prohibitions, asbestos is still used in various contexts due to its chemical, physical, and mechanical properties. The material is also easy to obtain. It cannot be ignored, however, that inhaling asbestos can cause a disease known as asbestosis that can be complicated by generating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cancer.
It is important to note that there are several factors that can affect the risk of contracting an asbestos-related disease, and its study is key for health professionals to know which way to go when treating a patient. The points to consider are the following:
* dose: it is the volume of this mineral to which the person has been exposed;
* duration: how long such exposure to asbestos has spread;
* personal factors: this group includes certain personal problems that may have an impact on risk, such as a lung disease that the patient had before contact with asbestos, or certain negative health habits, such as smoking;
* fiber characteristics: before you can estimate the risk of disease onset as a result of exposure to asbestos, it is very important to analyze the characteristics of the source, and this includes the chemical composition of its fibers, their shape and size.
Although all types of asbestos present dangers to our health, each of them is linked to different risks. For example, various scientific studies indicate that chrysotile asbestos is less dangerous than amphibole, especially if we focus on mesothelioma irrigation, since it may take longer to withdraw from the lungs.
With regard to smoking, mentioned in the previous list of risk factors, it is known that smokers have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than others, and this results in their exposure to asbestos enhancing this probability. For smokers who cannot avoid contact with this material for work reasons, there is at least the possibility of considering quitting tobacco, as this would have a positive impact on risk.
Some of the most common symptoms of inadequate exposure to asbestos, and for which it is recommended to consult a doctor, are the following:
* abnormal weight loss;
* difficulty swallowing food;
* tightness or pain in the chest;
* hoarseness, wheezing, or shortness of breath;
* lack of strength to carry out daily tasks or to stay awake;
* cough with phlegm and blood, which gets worse over time.