By now, many Americans realize that asbestos is a potentially toxic and often harmful substance. You may not know, however, that asbestos is a catch-all term for many substances. Indeed, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act identifies six distinct types of asbestos that can cause catastrophic health ailments.
Brown asbestos is the layperson’s name for amosite. This dark-colored asbestos is commonly present in cement, cement board and pipe insulation. According to the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, brown asbestos is one of the more dangerous types of asbestos.
Who is at risk?
While anyone has the potential to come into contact with brown asbestos, amosite exposure is more common for individuals who work with concrete, cement sheets or plumbing fixtures. Consequently, contractors, construction workers, cement manufacturers and plumbers often have the greatest risk of becoming ill.
What is the risk?
Doctors and scientists have long understood the dangerous nature of brown asbestos. If you have worked with or near amosite, you might develop asbestosis, mesothelioma or other types of cancer. Sadly, the symptoms of these diseases may not appear until years or even decades after your exposure to brown asbestos.
What can you do?
Even though you obviously cannot change the past, you certainly can pay close attention to your overall health. If you have any of the symptoms of asbestosis, mesothelioma or other types of cancer, you should seek immediate medical treatment. After all, early diagnosis and treatment can improve your prognosis considerably.
Ultimately, to ensure you can access the medical care you need to recover fully, you may also need to pursue financial compensation for your asbestos-related illness.