One of the most popular and exciting experiences while traveling is eating out at restaurants, as it can give you a unique taste of your destination culture. While most restaurants are just fine to dine at, not all establishments will live up to health and safety regulations. In many cases, you may be putting yourself at risk for asbestos exposure.
The asbestos removal contractors of Asbestos Ace have put together an awareness guide when traveling abroad. This is to ensure your upmost safety and provide you with basic knowledge on asbestos.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos are micro-fibrous minerals, that don’t conduct electricity and are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals. It is these properties that have made asbestos a popular material, used across a variety of industries. Asbestos can still be found in many buildings, including restaurants. Over time, however, asbestos becomes friable and disintegrates easily, releasing a dust that, if inhaled, has many detrimental health effects. You should avoid asbestos wherever you can, especially when travelling in areas where medical attention is more difficult to access.
Asbestos in Restaurants
Some materials that can contain asbestos that are commonly found in restaurants include paint, acoustic or decorative wall and ceiling, tiles, lay-in panels, piping, and insulation. Asbestos that remains intact is not a health risk, but once it deteriorates or gets damaged, it becomes one. Don’t put yourself at risk by eating at a restaurant that is in any way rundown, shows water damage, or has exposed building materials. Smoking is one of the aggravators of asbestos, so make sure to stay clear of poorly ventilated places.
Asbestos Health Hazards
After exposure, it can take anywhere from 15-60 years for symptoms to develop. When they do, however, they are usually severe and irreversible. Inhaling the microfibers is the primary risk, due to the body’s inability to destroy asbestos trapped in the lungs. Diseases from asbestos exposure, thus, overwhelmingly affect the lungs in serious and sometimes, fatal ways. The three main diseases linked to asbestos are asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Even low levels of exposure can put you at risk for Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is almost exclusively diagnosed to those living with asbestos exposure. A thin lining covers the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen, and makes it difficult to breathe. This disease is irreversible.
Asbestosis comes from high levels of exposure, and causes scarring and inflammation in the lungs. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and sometimes, cardiac failure, in later stages of the disease.
Breathing in asbestos has a similar effect to smoking cigarettes, in the development of lung cancer. If exposed, smoking will aggravate the condition. This cancer can spread outside the lungs and into the tissues of other organs including the esophagus, oral cavity, and kidneys, among others.
Available Treatment and Resources
There is no reversing asbestos exposure, there are treatments that can relieve some of the pain and symptoms. Oxygen therapy can help breathing, while surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be utilized for more extensive damage. For smokers who have been exposed, quitting is highly recommended.
Seek Professional Help
The costly and irreversible nature of diseases connected to asbestos exposure has caused a variety of resources to become available. For those who have been exposed and seek legal action, finding a reputable lawyer with experience who can help navigate the intricacies of your case is of utmost importance.
Exposure to asbestos can be very dangerous. Don’t forget to take precautions when visiting restaurants while on vacation. If you do think you have been exposed, seek help immediately.