Asbestos is a harmful mineral, which is commonly found in buildings that were constructed in the 1970s or earlier. Some professions require workers to spend much of their time in asbestos-affected areas, which can cause serious health problems associated with the lungs.
Healthcare professionals understand that those who have a higher risk of coming into contact with asbestos in the workplace should have period chest X-rays done to monitor any harm to the lungs. The team at Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena has explained why chest X-rays are essential for employees who frequently work in asbestos-affected environments.
Why Asbestos-Prone Workers Should Regularly Seek Out Chest X-rays
Serious health risks
The most common health risk associated with asbestos is asbestosis. Asbestosis occurs when an individual continuously inhales a large amount of asbestos fibers, which causes serious damage to the lungs. Left undetected, asbestosis can lead to a type of lung cancer known as mesothelioma, or problems with the fluid and lining, which encases the lungs for protection. Sufferers of these conditions may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, and many other symptoms. However, as asbestosis is caused by an accumulation of asbestos fiber inhalation, these symptoms may not appear until several years after asbestos has been inhaled. For this reason, an annual chest X-ray is essential to flagging asbestos exposure before serious health problems occur.
Asbestos exposure may vary over time
Millions of workers are affected by asbestos every year due to the high number of occupations, which place employees in these hazardous environments. Workers at the highest risk of facing this occupational health hazard are those who are often in contact with the raw, structural components of buildings such as insulation, roofing and flooring materials. These occupations include firefighters, construction workers, electricians, and many others. In all of these occupations, workers are exposed to different environments on a regular basis, meaning it is essential to monitor one’s contact with asbestos with periodic chest X-rays, as different building materials may pose various threats.
Occupational health often falls under worker’s compensation
Many of the professions that demand frequent exposure to potentially hazardous materials will provide employees with a comprehensive worker’s compensation plan for occupational health. This allows workers to carefully monitor their health without the added stress of paying the bill.