Lung diseases like Mesothelioma cancer are very
much in the news these days on account of the insidious progress
of these diseases. Not only are the lungs of the person exposed
direct to toxicity affected; the whole family can contract
mesothelioma through inhalation of the asbestos particles
which attach themselves to clothing fibres and get a ride
Asbestosis, Byssinosis (brown lung disease),
Coal Worker’s Pneumconiosis (black lung disease) and Industrial
Bronchitis are some of the other leading work-related illnesses,
other than mesothelioma cancer, in the USA, UK, and other
parts of the developed world. These diseases are the result
of inhalation of hazardous substances.
The lungs can be affected by substances present
in the air of some workplace environments. Although the lungs
can withstand short-term exposure to hazardous substances,
exposure over a sustained period is dangerous. Only particles
smaller than 0.005 mm in diameter - small enough to reach
the narrowest air passages and alveoli in the lungs, will
cause damage. However, because they cannot be expelled from
the system, they build up over a length of time. Eventually,
they cause thickening and scarring of lung tissue, and may
turn into life-threatening conditions.
Mesothelioma: Malignant mesothelioma cancer normally
leads to death within two years of detection of the disease.
In most cases mesothelioma cancer is detected only after the
tumor has spread over a large area of the pleura, so there
is no effective treatment. If the tumor is still small, when
discovered, it can be surgically removed for a complete cure,
but cases of survival after contracting mesothelioma cancer
are rare. Individuals must protect themselves by wearing protective
work gear, and taking the help of mesothelioma lawyers to
enforce worker protection.
Prevention is the only strategy that will bear
fruit, with employers taking the responsibility to ensure
a safe environment for their work force.
Asbestosis: None of the asbestos related diseases,
including asbestosis, can be reversed. Wide-spread scarring
in the lung tissues, from inhalation of asbestos particles,
can cause breathlessness and discomfort in the people who
are affected. Severe cases can lead to death.
Diffuse Pleural Thickening:
This condition significantly reduces the ability of the lungs
to efficiently deliver oxygen to the blood, and can lead to
People with asbestos related lung disease are
very susceptible to getting primary lung cancer. Statistics
indicate that about 4 out of every 10 people with asbestosis
or diffuse pleural thickening will eventually die of lung
Byssinosis: This disease is
becoming less common in the developed countries, with the
decline of the textile industry, but is common in cotton producing
countries, like India.
It is rarely a life threatening condition, despite
the extreme discomfort caused by shortness of breath. In extreme
conditions respiratory failure may be caused.
Pneumconiosis: In severe cases
pneumconiosis may lead to heart failure resulting from lung
damage. In a variant of this condition, it may develop into
a condition known as progressive massive fibrosis - the damage
affecting the upper parts of the lungs. Complications that
may further ensue are emphysema and lung cancer. Anyone in
an advanced stage of the disease is at increased risk of premature
Both mesothelioma and asbestosis tend to
develop in people who have experienced intense asbestos
exposure. Sadly, once contracted, neither asbestosis
nor mesothelioma can be reversed. The disease progresses
even after direct exposure is discontinued.
Silicosis, is caused by
inhalation of silica, affects people who work with sandstone,
slate, granite etc. It has been estimated that about 3
million workers in the US have been exposed to silica
dust. The acute form of silicosis, tends to develop after
a few months of intensive exposure to silica - and it
can lead to death in under a year.
There is a simple natural therapy to fight cancer but drug manufacturers' intense lobbying has ensured that North America is kept in the dark about this therapy.