Often, mesothelioma is the number one disease people relate to asbestos exposure. However, Boston asbestos removal becomes even more imperative as one learns of all of the other risks associated with long-term exposure. In some instances, long-term is not even a requirement to inherit one of the several adverse effects of exposure. Likewise, not all diseases result in cancer. Regardless of the variations, it’s important to understand the many associated risks, especially if you are, or have been, around asbestos.
In this article, we’re taking a look at one of the less mentioned, yet very important risks of asbestos exposure – pleural plaques. What are these things? Believe it or not, pleural plaques are the most common asbestos-related disease, according to a study published by ScienceDirect. Intrigued? Then you’ll want to read on.
What are pleural plaques?
Unknown to many, pleural plaques develop as part of the body’s natural immune response after being exposed to asbestos. These chalky buildups of collagen, or proteins, attempt to eliminate asbestos fibers. However, the strength of the asbestos fiber prevents the elimination from occurring. Thus, pleural plaques form as they settle in the lung’s lining. Although the production of these plaques is for good intent, they will irritate the lung tissue over time.
If they’re naturally produced, are pleural plaques harmful?
Here is the catch – while pleural plaques are generally not harmful nor require medical treatment, they are known as the ‘marker of asbestos exposure.’ By no means does the presence of pleural plaques indicate the presence of other asbestos-related lung diseases, but at the same time, it may.
Pleural plaques generally develop after long-term asbestos exposure. Thus, high-risk work professions are often the most vulnerable. Below are a few professions that are known to have a greater exposure risk than other professional fields:
- Construction workers
- Factory workers
- Textile mill workers
- Industrial workers
- Steel mill workers
It’s important to mention that recent studies and findings around baby powder also are being linked to the development of pleural plaques. Some believe that not only asbestos, but talc, causes the onset of the development of pleural plaques. For more information, read our previous article discussing talc, asbestos, and baby powder.
While pleural plaques are just one of many asbestos-related risks, it’s critical to understand what you’re facing – especially if working in one of the above professions. However, even if your job is not listed above, asbestos exposure can happen almost anywhere.
For more information on the safest, most efficient Boston asbestos removal, contact Allen Young at Atlantic Bay Contracting today by calling (617) 987-4977.