Asbestos: Harming Yo


When microscopic asbestos fibers are released into the air, you breathe those fibers just like you would breathe any other dust that might be in the air. The first thing that happens is that the defense mechanisms in your body -- the hairs in your nose, the cilia in your throat, and the macrophages in your lungs -- try to remove these foreign particles from your body. Unfortunately, asbestos has some very unique characteristics that overcome your body's normal defense systems. The first is that they are very thin, and very small. And so they go beyond the hairs in your nose, the cilia in your throat, and they get into your lungs. The fibers then frequently break down into even smaller fibers. These fibers do one of two things. They either stay in the lungs where scar tissue develops around those fibers, just like if you had a splinter in your finger and you couldn't get it out. What would happen would be a scar would develop over that splinter. Well, in your lungs, millions and millions of scars are formed in a very microscopic way until those scars eventually become so dense that an asbestosis victim can't breathe. Or those fibers in the lungs turn to cancer. Lung cancer. That's the cancer inside your lung. Or those fibers migrate from your lungs into the lining of your lung -- the pleura. Once they get there, they set up a reaction that leads to cancer. That's mesothelioma. So that's the way asbestos bypasses the defenses of your body, and leads to chronic diseases like ...


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