October 25, 2011

Three Deadly Diseases That Affect Asbestos Plant Workers

By the term asbestos, we refer to all those fibrous minerals that are used as an element to resist heat or fire. Asbestos is dug from rocks that are metamorphic in nature. Asbestos plant workers are employed for the purpose of digging asbestos from the rocks. This has put most of the workers in this profession at risk because they are in contact with asbestos. When exposed to asbestos, people can suffer from various diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural plagues, etc. These asbestos related diseases are on the rise particularly in countries like the United States.

These ailments caused by exposure to asbestos are deadly because till date there has been no cure for most of these diseases. So it is very important for asbestos plant workers to be careful when they are working in an environment that has asbestos. They have to take extra precautions so that they do not breathe in the asbestos fibers.

In the early days, people in Greece noticed the harmful effects of asbestos on people working with asbestos to turn it into cloth. In recent times, the death tolls started to rise in those places where asbestos mines were situated and this made people investigate the properties of asbestos.

Those companies that were engaged in producing goods from asbestos decided to overlook the harmful effects of asbestos and as a result, the asbestos plant workers became prone to asbestos related diseases. Several lawsuits have been made against the asbestos companies because of the adverse effects of asbestos on the plant workers.

Some Diseases Affecting The Plant Workers

The diseases that affect the asbestos plant workers are as follows:


When the plant workers inhale or take in asbestos fibers, they are putting themselves at risk of getting asbestosis. After inhaling the asbestos fibers, the worker's lung suffers from inflammation and irritation. This disease is not cancerous which means that it does not lead to cancer. Initially, the body of the worker tries to protect it self by fighting with these fibers but this will further make the matter worse by harming the cell and causing inflammation.

The worker may not know that he has asbestosis because this is only discovered though x-ray. He will not feel or experience any symptoms, which will make him come to a conclusion that he might be suffering from asbestosis. The airways and the air sacs of the worker's lung may be blocked by scar tissues or fibrosis that grows near these air passages. This will make the worker feel uncomfortable while breathing. In fact, the more the scar tissues or fibrosis grow the more complicated it will be for the worker to breathe properly. When an asbestos plant worker has asbestosis, he will cough and will not be able to breathe normally.

These symptoms will deteriorate with time even when the worker is not being exposed to asbestos anymore because this disease is progressive in nature. Even though it is rare but some times this disease can be deadly. Such an ailment can harm both the lungs of the worker. It means that it is not restricted to one lung only. Those who are suffering from this disease are more prone to develop mesothelioma or lung cancer. Currently, no cure has been found for this kind of disease and this is one of the reasons why all the plants' workers are asked to be very careful while they are at work.


Mesothelioma or malignant mesothelioma is a disease where tumor develops in the body of the asbestos plant workers when they are exposed to asbestos fibers. This tumor has the propensity to extend or multiply to various body parts and hence, this disease is considered to be fatal. Mesothelioma either develops in the abdomen or chest cavity. There are also cases where the tumor grows in the cavity close to the heart. Studies have shown that men workers are more prone to develop this disease as compared to women. Research has also shown that Mesothelioma is more common among the Caucasians. Actually, this type of disease is not common but once it attacks a person it can be very risky.

Lung cancer

This disease is regarded as one of the most deadly diseases where the tissue in the lung is transformed and expanded. Exposure to asbestos can lead to lung cancer in the asbestos plant workers.