An Insight on Asbestos Health Hazards

In the recent past, there have been heated debates about asbestos and its effect on health. When something touching on health receives as much attention as the asbestos debate has, what follows is increased interest in the topic from the public.

That is a good thing. The problem is that some of the information floating in media may not be 100% correct. It’s understandable if you’re bothered enough to want to know the facts about asbestos.

Have you ever been exposed to asbestos? Do you know someone who has been? In this article, we seek to explain what asbestos is and what it does to your health. We also tell you what should worry you and how to stay safe.

Facts about Asbestos

Asbestos is a form of mineral that consists of thin and long fibers.
There are six main types of asbestos minerals.
It’s found in some types of rock.
It is among the sturdier, natural compounds on planet earth and is not easily broken down.
Based on this last property, you can see how much of a problem asbestos becomes if it enters the human body. Unlike other compounds that find their way into the body, asbestosis not broken down and the body does not have a way of getting rid of it.

What makes asbestos troublesome is the fact that it is made up of many small fibers. You wouldn’t know of its existence unless you saw a huge block of it.

Asbestos was very popular in the 20th century, but when it became apparent that it was a serious health risk, mining and use of asbestos was outlawed in many places. While it’s no longer as widely used as before, asbestos is still used in some products.

Many of the older houses were built using asbestos-containing materials. As these materials wear out, asbestos fibers are released into the environment where they mix with the air we breathe. The same happens when you crush, demolish or destroy any product that contains asbestos.

What happens when you inhale asbestos?

When you inhale asbestos, its tiny fibers get trapped in the lungs. This causes irritation in lung tissues and can lead to a number of more serious lung illnesses. Below are the most common:

Pleural disease
Pleural disease occurs when the membrane surrounding the chest and lung cavity thickens. It can also occur when fluid builds up around the lungs.

Pleural disease that is caused by extreme membrane thickening all around the cavity is referred to as diffuse pleural thickening.

Pleural disease that is caused when thickening of membrane only occurs in specific parts is referred to as pleural plaques.

Pleural disease that occurs due to fluid buildup is referred to as pleural effusion.

In some cases, pleural disease affects lung function, while in others, lung function stays normal and the patient has no difficulty in breathing.

Asbestosis refers to the scarring that asbestos causes in the lungs. This scarring makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, leading to breathing problems.

Asbestosis affects people who have been exposed to high amounts of asbestos over a long duration. It can be many years before symptoms of asbestos begin to appear.

Asbestos as a Cancer Risk

Long-term exposure to asbestos increases one’s risk of getting lung cancer. The risk is higher when the affected individual also smokes tobacco.

Asbestos has also been found to cause mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that affects membranes in the chest and lung cavity, abdominal cavity, and other internal organs. Symptoms of mesothelioma only begin to show 30 or 40 years post-exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos has also been linked to cancers of thelarynx, pharynx, stomach, colorectum, and ovary.

Factors that Affect Risk of Disease

Asbestos quantity
The amount of asbestos in the air determines your risk level for the above diseases. If you’re exposed to small amounts of asbestos, your risk of developing illness is low, and vice versa.

Duration of exposure
Individuals who have been exposed to asbestos for many years are at the highest risk of getting sick.

Period between exposure and now
If you were exposed to asbestos recently, it may be too early to diagnose any of the diseases relating to asbestos.

Tobacco smokers have a higher risk of getting the above diseases.

Existing lung problems
Individuals with existing lung or breathing problems have a higher risk of disease.

From the above, it is clear that not everyone who has ever been exposed to asbestos will develop disease.

When the number of asbestos fibers in your body is negligible, they won’t cause any changes that can affect organ function. You can live as normal a life as the next person.

How can you reduce your risk of exposure to asbestos?

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you are not unnecessarily exposed to asbestos. Here are some of them:

Have regular medical check-ups. Your doctor will notice any abnormalities early enough and advice on corrective measures to take.
Avoid places that are known to contain asbestos.
The government has listed all areas that have asbestos deposits. Check whether any of these places is close to where you live.

They could be places you visit/move to in future, so always do an asbestos-check for any new area you intend to visit.

Avoid handling old products that are known to contain asbestos.
If you live in an area known to have asbestos:

Avoid walking or playing on bare ground as this could disturb asbestos fibers and cause them to fly around.
Avoid sweeping the patio or sidewalk for the same reason as 3 above.
If you have to plant a garden or play in the open ground, wet the soil to keep dust particles down.
Wet clean surfaces around your home. Don’t dust or sweep. Use a high efficiency particulate air vacuum in place of ordinary vacuum cleaners.
If your home contains asbestos, hire people to remove it. Only use people who have experience in asbestos removal so that they don’t further contaminate the house and surroundings.
Know how to stay safe even when surrounded by asbestos and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Detoxification

Detoxification, which began as a fad a decade or so ago has now become somewhat mainstream. Today, everyone is talking about the need to detox and how important it is for overall health.

How deep have you gone into detoxification? Have you tried any radical processes or do you stick to the more well-known processes?

Do you remember what it was like during yaour first detoxification? The anxiety and excitement you experienced as you went through your first detox. Did you like the results?

The discomfort of depriving the body certain items for a specific gain. How you thought it would never come to an end.

And then, suddenly, you started feeling better. Your body felt lighter, and you were enthusiastic about life once more. This just goes to show how powerful detoxification is.

If you have never done a body detox but would like to try one, this article is meant to help you understand the process involved, benefits and what to expect.

Ready? Let’s start at the top.

What is Detoxification?

Detoxification is the removal or elimination of toxins from the body. As we go about the day, tons of toxins find their way into our bodies. They may come from:

the food we eat
the air we breathe
the environment
skin products
female hygiene products
farm products
and even homecare products.
You may be thinking that’s practically everything in the world lumped together in some broad categories. And you’re right.

A lot has changed in terms of lifestyles around the world.

Technology brought plenty of changes that saw us adopting the use of machinery instead of doing things manually, and these may have some types of emissions.

Products for use in different processes have been developed.

Not to mention the development of all kinds of personal care products. From the soaps, shampoos, body lotions, creams, oils, and make up we use to cleaning products like sprays, polishers, sheens and more, each product has an abundance of ingredients that burden the skin, and in turn, the body.

Everytime you eat something that is not natural and wholesome, you introduce more chemicals into your body, which the body needs to process and eliminate.

The body has to work extra to get rid of these items, and as it dedicates more of its resources into toxin elimination, less energy is reserved for normal physiological functions. Your body slows down as a result, and you may begin to experience unexplained bouts of fatigue, headaches, lack of energy and lethargy.

Detoxification accelerates this toxin removal process so that your body can go back to its optimal functioning condition quickly.

What are the Health Benefits of Detoxification

There are lots of amazing health benefits that come with regular detoxification. We discuss some of them below:

Detoxification improves digestion
When toxins accumulate in the body, one of the first organs to be affected is the gut.

Digestion slows down and due to reactions between the stomach acids and some of the toxins, the environment in the gut often ends up being negatively altered, and some foods may take longer to be digested.

Detoxification improves the digestion process in a number of ways.

It may increase flow of bile through the stomach, thus speeding digestion.
Some detoxification products may contain ascorbic acid which aids digestion.
Detox products act as laxatives which boost digestive function.

Reduces inflammation in the body
A high number of toxins in the body can cause chronic inflammation, which is the silent causative factor behind many serious illnesses.

The challenge with inflammation is that it may not be instantly recognizable during initial diagnosis. And so, you may end up fighting an illness for long before the doctor identifies that inflammation is to blame.

Detoxification gets rid of the toxins and free radicals responsible for this inflammation, allowing your body to heal and go back to its normal functioning state.

Detoxification Boosts Liver Function
There are plenty of things we consume that overwork the liver. Things like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, fats, carbonated drinks, artificial flavors and colors, all cause the liver to work extra in order to get rid of all the toxins in these products.

When you detox, you give the liver a break from all this processing. In addition, it flushes toxins from the bloodstream and pushes them to be eliminated from the body.

Since most detox products are also diuretics, they increase rate of urination, the process through which toxins are expelled from the body.

Detoxification Boosts the Immune System
When you accelerate the removal of toxins from the body, you free the immune system from fighting free radicals non-top. Your body’s immunity is strengthened and you’ll be able to fight illnesses better.

Having excessive toxins in the body compromises the immune system such that it cannot ward off common infections. You end up falling ill often and have a hard time fighting simple infections like colds and the flu. Detoxification rectifies all that.

Detoxification Increases your Energy Levels
Where toxins sapped your body of all energy, detoxification steps in to supply the body with natural energy boosts from wholesome foods. As a result, you experienced sustained energy levels throughout the day.

Detoxification Improves Skin
The removal of toxins from your body results in clear and smooth skin. The skin may appear to get worse as you begin the detoxification process, but as the toxins are successfully eliminated, it starts to clear up and smoothen.

Detoxification keeps you Mentally Alert
When you detox, you get rid of the mental fog that interfered with your focus, and caused fatigue and sleeplessness.

You’ll think more clearly and have better concentration.

Detoxification Helps in Weight Loss
Often, the stubborn weight we struggle to shed is a result of all the unhealthy things we eat. Detoxification introduces you to a healthier lifestyle, where you’re careful of what you put in your mouth.

Weight loss resulting from this approach tends to be a long-term solution too, as you make these lifestyle changes permanent.

All these benefits are a direct result of detoxification. Who wouldn’t want a few of these? This makes detoxification a health goal to work towards.