Asbestos is dangerous. That’s something which no one can doubt or contest. However, the last thing you’d think would happen is that someone would eat asbestos. However, sadly, this is precisely what happened to a lady recently reported in the news, and now we are seeing the effects of actually ingesting the substance, and the impact that has on the human body.
So, What’s Happened?
Before we begin, we would like to point out that the woman in question has absolutely no idea as to how or if she consumed the material. But it seems to be that she has been exposed to asbestos as a child, presumably without knowing what it is or how it could affect her, and the consequences have been rather severe. She has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is often known to strike older people, especially those who have been working on construction sites their entire lives because they’ll have been in constant contact with the fibres.
When asked about her condition, the woman said that ‘‘It takes 20 years to affect people. I’d have been two or three when I had it. It is rare in women, rarer at my age. Usually, it’s older men in the building trade’. She’s currently 23 and has searched around at her local primary school to try and identify where the fibres could have been located but to no avail. Her parents, who ran an alarm fitting business, are also at a loss, as far as they are aware, none of their work ever brought them into contact with the heat-resistant fibres at all. There’s no real knowledge as to where these fibres came from, or how the woman came into contact with them.
The cancer requires her to undergo chemotherapy which will render her infertile. The condition was first found when doctors located tumours behind her bowels. There have been only two other cases which are similar since 2009, as the disease is usually associated with older male builders. Asbestos was used as a tool to build properties and buildings because it was both a durable and heat resistant material, but the usage of it ceased when the damaging health effects were discovered by medical professionals. Inhalation or consumption of the fibres is extremely dangerous and will result in cancer or conditions in later life, which is made worse by the knowledge that there is no way to identify if you’ve inhaled them or not.
Overall, asbestos is a hazardous substance, and this story is something which is very saddening to hear. Inhalation or consumption of asbestos fibres is hazardous to health, and we should all be aware of the dangers of the substance. Asbestos containing materials must be managed correctly to prevent them from being disturbed and releasing asbestos fibre. If you suspect damaged asbestos materials are present in your home, place of work or in a public place you should isolate the area and contact an appropriate consultant to obtain the correct advice and assistance.
If you have identified asbestos within a property or building site, contact our team for an asbestos survey by clicking here.