Construction work is one of the most demanding jobs in California and elsewhere. Unfortunately, there are sometimes serious risks associated with it. Asbestos exposure is one of them, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is made up of minerals that comprise fibers that are resistant to heat. While no longer used today, asbestos was used in many types of products. However, it’s a harmful substance that has been linked to mesothelioma and other types of lung disease and cancers.
The use of asbestos in products and buildings has been banned by the United States government.
Sadly, many people who worked in jobs decades ago who experienced exposure to asbestos have since fallen ill or died. There have been countless lawsuits filed as a result.
What are the symptoms of asbestos exposure?
If you have experienced asbestos exposure, symptoms may not show up until 10 to 40 years later. The most common signs include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry, persistent cough
- Chest tightness and pain
- Dry, crackling sound when inhaling
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Clubbing of the fingertips and toes
- Swelling of the face or neck
Many of the symptoms of asbestos exposure are similar to those found in other conditions. Lung cancer, in particular, has many of the same side effects. As a result, it could be difficult to get a clear diagnosis and you might be mistakenly diagnosed with lung cancer. However, it’s possible to have asbestosis or mesothelioma.
If you worked in construction decades ago, it’s possible that you were around asbestos for an extended period of time. The effects can be devastating. Seeking medical care is important and could make a big difference.