Asbestos Poisoning Symptoms: Effects, Treatment Of Asbestos Exposure

When people are exposed to large quantities of asbestos, asbestos poisoning often happens. This does not happen just through exposure, but mainly when asbestos fibers are ingested or inhaled by the person. Not only does this happen to those who are directly exposed to asbestos but also to those who experience secondary exposure through contact with the exposed person’s clothing. Symptoms of asbestos poisoning may be observed, but this does not happen immediately upon exposure.

Symptoms Of Asbestos Poisoning

Immediate symptoms of asbestos exposure

  • Chronic coughing with scanty sputum and cough is dry
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Tightening of the chest
  • Swelling of face or neck
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Mass in the abdomen.
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia.
  • Pain in the chest.
  • Fever and night sweats.
  • Possible development of mesothelioma
  • Long term development of lung cancer; it can develop when a person is exposed to asbestos fiber and dust for a long time.
  • The patient may suffer from asbestosis
  • Examination reveals late fine crackles while inspiration.

Effects Of Asbestos Exposure

  • Development of lung reduction
  • Thickening of the alveolar wall
  • Possible slow manifestation of dyspnea
  • Respiratory failure
  • Asbestosis; Asbestosis seldom develops less than 20 years after the start of exposure
  • Arterial hypoxemia
  • Diffusion capacity
  • Heart failure
  • Suffocation
  • Clubbing of fingers
  • Nails and tongue become blue; it is also known in medical terms as cyanosis

Treatment For Asbestos Poisoning

  • So far there is no treatment for asbestosis or asbestos poisoning.
  • Oxygen therapy may be used to help relieve the difficulties in breathing as well as correct hypoxia.
  • Respiratory physiotherapy may also be done in order to remove the secretions that may clog up the lungs. It is useful in treating asbestosis.
  • Postural drainage may also be done so that fluids in the lungs, or the secretions, are removed.
  • Vibrations and chest percussions may also be performed.
  • Cessation of smoking is a must in order to reduce damage.
  • Cancer evaluations and screening may be done in order to assess the damage.
  • Chemotherapy, surgery or radiation is the treatment for cancer caused due to asbestos poisoning.
  • Periodic chest x-rays, PFTs, and clinical evaluations must be performed so that the patient’s health is closely monitored.
  • After exposure to asbestos, it is important to inform a doctor immediately so that a full diagnosis is made.
  • Patients suffering from asbestosis should stay away from crowd because of risk of respiratory infection.