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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is Considered Short-Term Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that releases tiny airborne fibers when disturbed. These fibers then become lodged in a person's lungs when inhaled.


Short-term or one-time asbestos exposure is classified as incidents lasting less than a few days. One-time exposure to asbestos or short-term asbestos exposure is associated with limited risk. However, certain extreme events of short-term asbestos exposure can cause a high risk of illness later on.


The toxic exposure from the 9/11 attacks is one example of this. Nonetheless, short-term contact with asbestos has a low risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.


What Is Short-Term Asbestos Exposure?

What Is Short-Term Asbestos Exposure?


This form of asbestos exposure refers to the limited or brief period of contact with asbestos fibers. Even though the health risks associated with asbestos exposure increase with its intensity and duration, it's important to note that even short-term exposure poses health concerns.


Symptoms of Short-Term Asbestos Exposure


Asbestos-related illness generally develops over an extended period and can span several decades. That's why short-term asbestos exposure might not result in noticeable symptoms.


When ingested or inhaled, asbestos fibers remain dormant in the body for sometimes decades before causing health problems. Nonetheless, short-term exposure to high asbestos levels can cause more immediate symptoms. These short-term asbestos symptoms include:

  • Chest discomfort

  • Respiratory irritation

  • Eye irritation

  • Skin irritation

  • Fatigue and nausea

It's important to note that these symptoms aren't exclusive to short-term asbestos exposure.


What Are the Other Types of Asbestos Exposure?


The public can come into contact with asbestos in various ways, which is why there are different types of asbestos exposure. Here are some of the most common types:


Occupational Asbestos Exposure

One of the most common forms of asbestos exposure is occupational exposure. Certain industries are associated with this type of asbestos exposure. Workers in insulation installation, shipbuilding, construction, and asbestos mining are known for being at a higher risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. Exposure is typically caused from sanding, cutting, and drilling asbestos materials.


Environmental Exposure to Asbestos

Environmental exposure happens when asbestos-containing materials break down over time. This releases fibers into the air. People who live near asbestos processing facilities, mines, or in the area of asbestos-containing structures might be exposed to soil, water, or air.


Secondary Exposure to Asbestos

Secondary exposure occurs when a person is indirectly exposed to asbestos fibers. This could be through contaminated surfaces or air. Secondary exposure generally happens in buildings where asbestos-containing materials are deteriorating. Because of this, fibers are released into the environment.


How Much Asbestos Exposure Is Unhealthy?


There isn't any safe level of asbestos exposure. That's because even low levels of exposure to any asbestos fibers increase the risk of developing any asbestos-related disease.


Common asbestos-related illnesses include mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Moreover, asbestos is classified as a carcinogen. It can cause significant health issues when these fibers are ingested or inhaled.


Several factors influence the health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Some of these risk factors include:

  • The type and size of asbestos fibers

  • The concentration of asbestos fibers in the air

  • The duration of exposure

  • Individual susceptibility

Ranging from several years to several decades, the latency period between the development of any asbestos-related disease and the initial exposure is known for being long.


Asbestos-Related Disease Examples


Various asbestos-related diseases are caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Often taking several decades to develop, asbestos-related diseases pose a great risk to an individual's health. The primary diseases relating to asbestos dust include:

  • Asbestos-related cancer in the lungs

  • Pleural disorders

  • Asbestosis

  • Mesothelioma

  • Other asbestos-related cancers

Is Lung Cancer Caused from Short-Term Asbestos Exposure?


Lung cancer risk from exposure to asbestos results from chronic or long-term exposure and isn't commonly associated with short-term exposure. However, the National Cancer Institute has reported some instances where cancer can occur from short-term exposure where asbestos levels are high.


How to Prevent Asbestos Exposure


Short-term exposure to asbestos dust has fewer health risks than chronic or prolonged exposure. Nonetheless, individuals should minimize their exposure as best as possible. That's because no exposure to asbestos is the best way to prevent developing asbestos illness.


Here are some ways to prevent asbestos exposure:

  • Avoid disturbing asbestos-containing materials: Whenever possible, leave containing asbestos undistributed. Take proper precautions by hiring professionals for asbestos removal if maintenance or renovations are planned in areas where there's asbestos.

  • Follow safety guidelines: Always adhere to safety guidelines and procedures that have been established by regulatory and employer agencies. It's also beneficial to partake in training programs to better understand the best practices and risk factors of working around asbestos.

  • Monitor airborne asbestos levels: Routine air monitoring should be conducted in workplaces where asbestos is present. This is done to access and control asbestos levels.

Does Asbestos Exposure Cause People to Develop Mesothelioma?


Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer that is known to affect the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma). However, there's also an increased risk of developing mesothelioma affecting the heart (pericardial mesothelioma), the testicles (testicular mesothelioma), or the abdomen (peritoneal).


Long-term exposure to asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers in the air are ingested or inhaled, this dust becomes lodged in the body tissues, which can cause individuals to develop mesothelioma. Other asbestos-related diseases develop from these fibers as well.


Legal Options for Mesothelioma Patients

Legal Options for Mesothelioma Patients


Those affected by illnesses caused by asbestos materials have various legal options if they want to seek compensation for damages caused by this exposure.


It's recommended to consult asbestos attorneys in Nashville who are experienced in asbestos or mesothelioma litigation. This will provide affected individuals with the right knowledge to explore the specific legal avenues available.

Some of the most common legal options available for mesothelioma patents (and affected families) include:

  • Asbestos trust funds

  • Wrongful death lawsuits

  • Personal injury lawsuits

  • Workers' compensation

  • Class action lawsuits

The legal process associated with asbestos exposure and mesothelioma claims is complex. Additionally, the legal landscape is known to vary depending on the specific circumstances of an individual case. That's why consulting with an attorney who specializes in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation is invaluable. They can give answer questions such as Can a single exposure to asbestos cause mesothelioma?


Those who need help building an asbestos exposure case or want to seek compensation for developing mesothelioma can contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to get justice. Victims can book a free consultation to learn more today.

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