Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. We specialize in Personal Injury trial litigation and focus our energy and efforts on those we represent.

The Dangers of Asbestos: Understanding the Risks

The Dangers of Asbestos: Understanding the Risks. Asbestos, a term that once symbolized insulation and fireproofing excellence, has now become synonymous with serious health risks and diseases.

This naturally occurring mineral, made of thin, fibrous crystals, was widely used in the construction, automotive, and in manufacturing industries for its strength, durability, and resistance to heat, fire, and chemicals.

hidden dangers of asbestos exposure

Asbestos exposure is a hidden danger that strikes many years later with catastrophic results. Injured? Call Dr. Shezad Malik at 214-390-3189

However, the dangers of asbestos exposure have since come to light, leading to strict regulations and a push for asbestos removal from buildings and products.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos refers to a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that are composed of long and thin fibrous crystals. Each fiber is composed of many microscopic “fibrils” that can be released into the atmosphere and inhaled into the lungs, leading to significant health problems.

Health Risks Associated with Asbestos Exposure

The hidden danger of asbestos exposure comes from inhaling its fibers, which can become trapped in the lungs and remain there for years. Over time, these fibers can cause inflammation, scarring, and eventually lead to several serious health conditions, including:

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by scarring of lung tissue, leading to shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage.

Lung Cancer is a malignant tumor that obstructs the air passages in the lungs. Smoking significantly increases the risk of lung cancer in people exposed to asbestos.

Mesotheliomais a rare and aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum). Mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos and may not develop until decades after exposure.

Other Cancers: Asbestos exposure has also been linked to cancers of the larynx, ovaries, and testes.

Who is at Risk from Asbestos?

Individuals most at risk of asbestos exposure include those in occupations such as construction, shipbuilding, automotive repair (especially brake and clutch repair), and manufacturing of asbestos-containing products.

However, the danger is not limited to these industries alone. People living in older buildings containing asbestos materials and those involved in the renovation or demolition of such structures are also at risk.

Asbestos Regulatory Actions and Safety Measures

Recognizing the severe health risks posed by asbestos, governments and health organizations worldwide have implemented strict regulations on its use, handling, and removal. In many countries, the use of asbestos in new construction and products is banned or severely restricted. Additionally, specific guidelines and procedures have been established for the safe removal, disposal, and management of asbestos-containing materials.

What are the dangers of Asbestos?

The dangers of asbestos have been known to some extent for a long time, but widespread recognition and understanding of its health risks emerged more prominently in the 20th century. Historical records suggest that concerns about the health implications of asbestos exposure date back to ancient times, with notable mentions of sickness among asbestos miners. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that medical professionals began to observe and document the detrimental health effects of asbestos exposure more systematically.

In the early 20th century, medical research began to clearly link asbestos exposure to serious lung problems. One of the earliest documented cases of health issues related to asbestos was reported by Dr. H. Montague Murray at the Charing Cross Hospital in London in 1906, where he found fibrosis in the lungs of a young asbestos factory worker.

The term “asbestosis” was first used in medical literature in the 1920s to describe lung disease caused by asbestos dust. By the 1930s, a clear association between asbestos and lung disease was established, leading to the first asbestos industry regulations in the UK in 1931, known as the Asbestos Industry Regulations.

The link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, was firmly established in the 1960s through research by Dr. J.C. Wagner and colleagues in South Africa. This discovery significantly heightened concerns about the dangers of asbestos and led to increasing calls for regulation and restrictions on its use.

Despite growing evidence of its health risks, the use of asbestos continued to grow until the late 20th century when countries began to enact laws and regulations to limit its use, ban asbestos products, and implement strict controls on exposure. The first bans on asbestos products began in the 1980s, with more comprehensive bans and phase-outs implemented in many countries in the 1990s and 2000s.

How does Asbestos cause disease?

Asbestos causes disease primarily through the inhalation of its microscopic fibers, which can become airborne when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed. Once inhaled, these fibers can settle in the lungs or the pleural lining of the chest cavity, leading to a range of health issues. The process by which asbestos causes disease involves several mechanisms:

1. Physical Irritation
Asbestos fibers are sharp and rigid, making them particularly harmful when inhaled. They can lodge in the lung tissues and irritate the cells, causing physical damage over time. This irritation can lead to scarring (fibrosis) of lung tissue, known as asbestosis.

2. Inflammation
The body’s immune system responds to the presence of asbestos fibers by attempting to break them down and remove them, leading to inflammation. This chronic inflammation can cause further damage to the lung tissues and pleura (the lining around the lungs and chest cavity).

3. Cellular Damage and Genetic Changes
Asbestos fibers can cause direct damage to the DNA of cells in the lung tissue and mesothelium (the lining of the internal organs), leading to mutations that can turn cells cancerous. The fibers can interfere with the cell’s natural repair processes, leading to uncontrolled cell growth and the development of tumors.

Asbestos Latency Period

One of the challenges in diagnosing asbestos-related diseases is the long latency period between exposure to asbestos and the onset of symptoms. It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for diseases such as mesothelioma or lung cancer to develop after a person is first exposed to asbestos.

Preventive Measures:

Due to the serious health risks associated with asbestos, it is crucial to follow strict regulations and guidelines for handling, removal, and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. Protective equipment and safety protocols are essential for individuals working in environments where exposure to asbestos is a risk.


As can be seen, the hidden dangers of asbestos exposure are clear and present danger, with significant health risks. It is crucial to be aware of the potential presence of asbestos in older buildings and products and to follow safety guidelines for its handling and removal. By taking proper precautions and adhering to regulatory standards, we can mitigate the risks associated with asbestos and protect public health. Awareness and education are key in preventing asbestos-related diseases and ensuring that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.

Injured by Asbestos exposure?

Dr. Shezad Malik as a practicing physician and attorney he understands the devastating consequences of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.

As an Asbestos and Mesothelioma attorney, we have a special understanding of the liability of asbestos defendants. This includes issues as when the manufacturer, supplier, contractor and/or employer first understood about the dangers of asbestos, and what they failed to do to warn and protect workers and their families.

Information and commentary provided by Dallas Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. The Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm can be contacted in Dallas at 214-390-3189. If you or a loved one has been injured from Asbestos Mesothelioma or Asbestosis, please fill out our contact card for a free consultation.

Our law firm’s principal office is in Dallas and we have offices in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm represents clients in dangerous drug and dangerous medical device lawsuits nationwide

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