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3 Actions You Should Take if You Think You've Ever Been Exposed to Asbestos

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When asbestos was still widely used in various manufacturing and construction industries, many people were exposed to the airborne fibres. This could happen because you worked in a job that involved its use, you lived nearby, or it was used in your home.

Asbestos was banned a few decades ago, but anyone who inhaled fibres at the time is still at risk from problems developing. As asbestos still exists in some old buildings, people who work in them can still become exposed without protective equipment.

Usually, the problem takes the form of asbestosis, a condition caused by asbestos fibres damaging the lungs. Asbestosis can also lead to other problems, including cancer. If you think you may be at risk of asbestosis, there are a few things you can do to help. Follow these tips and increase your chances of living healthily.

Stop smoking

If you're a smoker, the cigarettes are causing damage to your lungs and will eventually make you have breathing difficulties. Mixed with asbestosis, the two can make you extremely unwell and massively increase the damage done. Don't wait until you have signs of asbestosis. If there's a risk you've been exposed to asbestos fibres, quit smoking now and you'll really benefit.

Look after your health

Asbestosis makes the lungs more susceptible to infection, so it's important to keep yourself healthy and fight off illnesses wherever possible. Even the common cold can be risky and severe after asbestos exposure. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet and exercise as much as you're able to, and you're less likely to get ill.

Stay updated with vaccinations

Some viruses, most notably flu, can lead to pneumonia and other respiratory problems. If you have asbestosis, even in very early stages, your risk of complications from a virus is magnified. Make sure you keep your vaccination record up to date to stop yourself getting something that could make you extremely unwell, and get the flu virus every year so you're properly covered against infection.

Know when to visit a doctor

You don't need to be tested for asbestosis if you don't have any symptoms, but the earlier the problem is discovered, the easier it can be treated. There's no cure, but there are things you can do to manage it, so it's best to find out as soon as possible.

If you start to notice any breathing difficulty, even if it's mild,contact asbestos testing services. You should also look out for persistent coughing, a painful or tight chest, and an increase in fatigue. Let your doctor know you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, and they'll investigate the issue with that in mind.