Ohio and Asbestos Exposure

Even for individuals that have been exposed to asbestos, the myriad of diseases related to the carcinogen remain rare. Possible diseases include a variety of respiratory illnesses, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Persons affected must have been exposed to the dust of the material and inhaled it. Particularly at risk are individuals who either worked with the material on a regular basis, or spent extended periods of time in areas where asbestos was present. In the 1970s, the dangers of exposure to the carcinogen were finally recognized. As early as the 1930s, researchers were becoming aware of the unique dangers posed by handling the material. After the 1980s asbestos was banned from being used in areas where people would be exposed to the bare material, and workers were required to wear protective masks and clothes when removing it. This action came too late for many individuals in Ohio. Though only a little over one thousand deaths were documented between 1980 and 2000, many more deaths were likely caused by mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses. Many citizens do not correlate their past experiences with their current maladies. Not only does that fact skew the statistics, it can postpone the necessary treatments to prolong life expectancy. The most common applications for asbestos include heat resistant uses, along with ceiling and wall coverage as well. Those who directly handled the material are more likely to have inhaled the large quantities of its dust, increasing their risk of developing complications. In Ohio, the seventh most populated state, 66% of asbestos-related deaths are known to be from mesothelioma. A major problem for individuals that have had prior exposure is the lack of routine exams that could easily detect related diseases. Often, sufferers will be unaware they even need exams, since the cancer can remain latent for 20 to 50 year after exposure. Once issues do arise, they are often mistaken for the common cold or other respiratory illnesses that have similar side effects. When detecting in their early stages, many of the asbestos related diseases can be treated, drastically improving a patient’s prognosis.