When working in buildings with asbestos, or with asbestos directly, people expose themselves to the dangers that asbestos can create.
This includes a condition known colloquially as “popcorn lung”, or bronchiolitis obliterans in scientific terminology. But just what is this disease, and how does it affect those exposed to asbestos?
The lesions from asbestos exposure
The National Library of Medicine looks into bronchiolitis obliterans as an issue affecting people exposed to asbestos over a longer period of time. This can include people who work with it in their career, people who work in a building that contains asbestos in the building materials, or people who live in older homes that have asbestos.
Over time, asbestos exposure can irritate the lungs, creating small lesions and scar tissues within them. This scar tissue can build up to the point that the tiniest capillaries in the lungs can no longer function as intended. They cannot absorb oxygen or blood, thus they cannot reoxygenate the blood supply.
It reduces the victim’s overall lung capacity sometimes by a significant margin. Unfortunately, it is also the sort of disease and damage that cannot get reversed once it has happened. Though medications exist to alleviate the symptoms and it typically does not worsen after removal from the source of asbestos, the damage that exists at the time of diagnosis will always remain.
This can have a profound impact on the victim’s life, as popcorn lung can reduce a person’s lung capacity to the point that even walking winds them. It is a huge quality of life reduction, and this is why many people exposed to asbestos will seek compensation.