Many people in Maryland choose a career in the construction industry. If they have worked on older buildings or within the industry for a long period of time however, they could have developed asbestosis as a result of long-term exposure to asbestos.
The Mayo Clinic points out that asbestosis is often associated with work performed in the 1970s and earlier. It is considered a chronic disease in the lungs where scarring of the tissues has taken place. Treatment can include a lung transplant, pulmonary rehabilitation or even oxygen that is administered through a mask or nostril tube. The condition is diagnosed through a process that may include the following:
- Lung function test
- Old medical records
- Analysis of symptoms
- Work history
- CT scan of the chest
People with asbestosis find it hard to breathe, due to the scarring in the lungs. The scarring happens when tiny asbestos fibers and dust enters into the lungs and then the lungs try to get rid of it.
Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally in the earth. According to the Occupational and Safety Health Administration, the mineral is popular for use in some auto parts as well as construction materials because of its resistance to corrosion and heat. OSHA points out that standards require American employers to reduce exposure as much as possible through the use of protective equipment on workers and administrative controls. If workers are exposed, employers are supposed to medically monitor them for any signs of damage. The fibers that are inhaled are too small to be seen without the help of a microscope or some other tool.