Hazards of asbestos

Hazards of asbestos, 10- to 50-year incubation period

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that can be harmful to the human body. Did you know that its incubation period, the time taken for health damage to surface, can last for 10 to 50 years? Without immediate, appropriate treatment, it is highly likely that people who have been exposed to asbestos will develop symptoms in the future, even if they are currently healthy.

JP Conference deals with a detoxifying treatment for asbestos, a material for its potential to be harmful to the human body. By substantially reducing the burden of asbestos treatment associated with building demolition, we have achieved cost savings as well as labor safety. We are determined to continue to keep the amount of health damage induced by asbestos to a minimum. On this page, we provide basic knowledge of the health damage induced by asbestos.

What is asbestos?

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a material that has numerous functions including high heat resistance, soundproof and insulation capabilities, and that used to be heavily used in traditional steel-framed buildings to provide a lightweight, heat-resistant coating. While asbestos itself is chemically inert and therefore has no toxicity, its fibers induce health damage in organs such as the lungs when they are taken into the body through inhalation, because they are extremely thin and light.

In Japan, the use of asbestos in buildings was prohibited in general in 1975. However, asbestos may still be in use in many buildings that were built before 1975.

Illnesses induced by asbestos

The most notable damage induced by asbestos is asbestosis pulmonum. Symptoms such as dyspnea may occur due to decreased respiratory function caused by lung fiberization. There are no subjective symptoms in the early stage, but as it progresses patients gradually develop coughing, phlegm production, exertional dyspnea, malaise, weight loss, and eventually dyspnea at rest. The incubation period is typically 10 to 50 years.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that asbestos can be a cause of lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. While the mechanism as to how asbestos affects people and induces lung cancer has not been identified, a correlation between exposure and lung cancer has been indicated, because the greater the exposure to asbestos, the higher the risk of developing lung cancer. It is believed that the incubation period is typically 15 to 40 years.

On the other hand, malignant mesothelioma is an illness where people develop malignant tumors in the pleura that covers the lungs, the liver, the peritoneum that covers the stomach, the pericardium that covers the heart and its surroundings. It is understood that the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma is higher if people are exposed to asbestos when they are young. The incubation period is typically 20 to 50 years.

Greater risk of developing illnesses is evident

Greater risk of developing illnesses is evident

The risk of developing illnesses through asbestos exposure differs from individual to individual, and it is difficult to predict how much exposure is necessary before a person develops an illness. The risk also differs from one illness to another. It is said that a very small amount of inhalation can cause malignant mesothelioma, compared to lung cancer.

It is not necessarily the case that everyone who inhaled asbestos will develop an illness. However, it is statistically proven that there is a correlation between the amount of asbestos inhalation and the incident rate.