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  1. #1
    Registered User sy2502's Avatar
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    Asbestos? Seriously?

    Last week I went in for a CT scan of the neck and they overscan the area a bit to make sure they get everything they need, so they scanned the upper part of my lungs too.
    Imagine my shock when it turns out I have a type of lung damage that can only be caused by one of the following:

    - Tuberculosis
    - Radiation therapy to the chest
    - Repeated exposure to asbestos.

    Since I never had the first 2, I have to conclude it must be the 3rd. But wtf? I know I grew up in Italy and the building in which I grew up was pretty old, and the school I went to was probably even older, but is it possible there was enough free floating asbestos in the air to cause damage? And I guess everyone else who was in those buildings (if that's where I got it) must have the same damage too, and maybe don't know it, just like I didn't know it until the CT scan.

    Anyone know anything about asbestos and exposure to it?
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  2. #2
    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
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    If it’s not sealed sure

    We had radon in our office and we found out through our paralegal who was recovering from ovarian cancer getting lung damage/cancer in the lung and everyone started getting coughs and sick

    Also have you been tested for tb? It can lay dormant with out any symptoms
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  3. #3
    Registered User sy2502's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    If it’s not sealed sure

    We had radon in our office and we found out through our paralegal who was recovering from ovarian cancer getting lung damage/cancer in the lung and everyone started getting coughs and sick

    Also have you been tested for tb? It can lay dormant without any symptoms
    Yes, I have been tested several times, including to get my US citizenship (or was it the Green Card, can't remember).

    Darn what kind of office was it to have radon lying around?

    A friend of mine works to certify cleanrooms and one of his jobs was in a company that makes cancer radiation therapy equipment. They sent him to clean a duct (I am probably going to get a few things wrong, sorry I am not an expert) but they didn't turn off whatever usually vents radioactive stuff into the duct. He worked there several hours, then started complaining of severe nausea. They checked and were like "ooops, we didn't turn it off... you have been irradiated... sorry... we suggest you don't go through the screening machines of the airport, nor get an X ray for a while... don't worry, you'll be fine... probably... oh you already have 2 kids? You weren't planning to have more right?"
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  4. #4
    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    Yes, I have been tested several times, including to get my US citizenship (or was it the Green Card, can't remember).

    Darn what kind of office was it to have radon lying around?

    A friend of mine works to certify cleanrooms and one of his jobs was in a company that makes cancer radiation therapy equipment. They sent him to clean a duct (I am probably going to get a few things wrong, sorry I am not an expert) but they didn't turn off whatever usually vents radioactive stuff into the duct. He worked there several hours, then started complaining of severe nausea. They checked and were like "ooops, we didn't turn it off... you have been irradiated... sorry... we suggest you don't go through the screening machines of the airport, nor get an X ray for a while... don't worry, you'll be fine... probably... oh you already have 2 kids? You weren't planning to have more right?"
    just an old building it was a law office radon occurs naturally all over the usa normally closer to areas with granite in the ground and mountains near by.
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    Restomodding sumolgi's Avatar
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    It's bad stuff but really varies in how it hits a person. From minor lung dysfunction to guaranteed death (mesothelioma). If they didn't say cancer (be very pleased), just do your cardio to mitigate the damage and live your life. There's really nothing that you can do about it now. There's an international lung cancer study that's focused on asbestos exposure that's been ongoing for a few years now called IASLC. The mesothelioma component is the asbestos exposure end. FWIW
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    Last week I went in for a CT scan of the neck and they overscan the area a bit to make sure they get everything they need, so they scanned the upper part of my lungs too.
    Imagine my shock when it turns out I have a type of lung damage that can only be caused by one of the following:

    - Tuberculosis
    - Radiation therapy to the chest
    - Repeated exposure to asbestos.

    Since I never had the first 2, I have to conclude it must be the 3rd. But wtf? I know I grew up in Italy and the building in which I grew up was pretty old, and the school I went to was probably even older, but is it possible there was enough free floating asbestos in the air to cause damage? And I guess everyone else who was in those buildings (if that's where I got it) must have the same damage too, and maybe don't know it, just like I didn't know it until the CT scan.

    Anyone know anything about asbestos and exposure to it?
    It's possible that you were exposed to TB in Italy at the same time as your asbestos exposure. This many years down the road, it's really hard to say. If asbestos insulation is not properly secured and covered, it can definitely release free-floating particles. Your exposure relative to others around you may be down to something as simple as the local ventilation patterns and your location within them.

    And it's highly possible that others have had the same damage and are unaware of it.

    I'm understanding that up until this scan you've been symptom free, correct? If your body has isolated the irritant, I see no reason why that shouldn't continue. Individual levels of susceptibility vary widely. Some have a much higher threshold of harm than others.

    I hope in your case it remains just a curiosity.
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    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sumolgi View Post
    It's bad stuff but really varies in how it hits a person. From minor lung dysfunction to guaranteed death (mesothelioma). If they didn't say cancer (be very pleased), just do your cardio to mitigate the damage and live your life. There's really nothing that you can do about it now. There's an international lung cancer study that's focused on asbestos exposure that's been ongoing for a few years now called IASLC. The mesothelioma component is the asbestos exposure end. FWIW
    you can also get skin cancer from it. My husband gets acne and over the years of working with it and getting in open scabs plus predisposition to it. I’ve worked with it demoing and remodeling and as a kid hung out in a attic full of it and nothing happened -\_o_/-, granted he’s had much more exposure but wears a mask, I didn’t, yet he has stage 2 and 3 melanoma
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    Registered User Cantplankwell's Avatar
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    I am wondering if you have lived for any length of time downwind from a major rehabilitation of a former shipyard, industrial site, large scale building demolition? For a very long time asbestos was widely used in industry and construction for innumerable applications, its still everywhere. It was not all that long ago that major work in these areas were performed without proper environmental remediation and prevention of contaminants such as asbestos entering the environment. I am thinking a lot of us that have lived in cities and urban areas and are/were around before or during the 70s and 80s may have been dosed to some extent..maybe even ongoing.
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  9. #9
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    I worked with a guy in the telecommunications industry , and we both started the trade by doing installs in homes .
    He’s a chain smoker ,but died at 65 from asbestos in his lungs , so I know what I have to look forward to .
    Strange thing was he was fine one day , but the next day he couldn’t breath and almost died.
    He had to be on a respirator till his death a year later . I had to cry after I talked to him , as it was all he could do to pull the mask off just long enough to get a sentence out , then he’d start gasping for air .
    I recently watched a program where they mentioned your 50 times more likely to get mesothelioma from asbestos if you smoke . I don’t smoke so I’m praying it doesn’t happen to me .
    I do have breathing issues and the specialist said some kind of obstruction,but I’d rather not know .
    I hope your problem is minimal at worst
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    Good Grief, sorry to read this
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    so sad to hear. chitty operator chitty program
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    Imagine my shock when it turns out I have a type of lung damage that can only be caused by one of the following:

    - Tuberculosis
    - Radiation therapy to the chest
    - Repeated exposure to asbestos.


    Anyone know anything about asbestos and exposure to it?
    While I dont know you specific case, I have first hand knowledge of this. When I was in my real bad accident in 09, (broken neck, tbi...etc) they came and did a TB test on me in the hospital because my x-rays and imagining show massive signs of lung scarring. They were so nervous, they actually isolated my room until a tb test could be done.

    They started asking all the above, but one thing that you did not mention is histoplasmosis. Exposure to bird and bat droppings, (fungus is even common in some soils) can cause an infection in the lungs that leaves scars almost identical to asbestos exposure.


    I believe that I got it because I did a lot of remodeling work in my early 20's. Tearing out old structures gave me quite a bit of exposure to old droppings.

    If it is that, it might be years old scarring from a previous infection. MUCH MUCH better to deal with than asbestosis since the body never processes and rids itself of the asbestos fiber.
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    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cantplankwell View Post
    I am wondering if you have lived for any length of time downwind from a major rehabilitation of a former shipyard, industrial site, large scale building demolition? For a very long time asbestos was widely used in industry and construction for innumerable applications, its still everywhere. It was not all that long ago that major work in these areas were performed without proper environmental remediation and prevention of contaminants such as asbestos entering the environment. I am thinking a lot of us that have lived in cities and urban areas and are/were around before or during the 70s and 80s may have been dosed to some extent..maybe even ongoing.
    When I was in college in the 1980's one of our geology professors was insistent that this whole "asbestos scare" thing was overblown, and would blow over. I suspected at the time his opinions might have been based on something other than science, since there was a big industry push resisting the science at the time.

    Looking back on it though, he was even wronger than I imagined at the time.
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    sy, I hope you find out what the culprit is. Sorry you have to go through this <3
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    Registered User sy2502's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    just an old building it was a law office radon occurs naturally all over the usa normally closer to areas with granite in the ground and mountains near by.
    Oh wow, didn't know! I learned something new!

    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    It's possible that you were exposed to TB in Italy at the same time as your asbestos exposure.
    My understanding, which could be completely wrong, is that a TB test will tell whether you were ever exposed to TB in addition to having had it. My tests have always come back negative, so I assumed I was never exposed to TB?

    I'm understanding that up until this scan you've been symptom free, correct?
    Exactly right, that's why I was so shocked. In fact I probably have greater lung capacity than most women I know. Probably having exercised most of my life helped.

    Originally Posted by Cantplankwell View Post
    I am wondering if you have lived for any length of time downwind from a major rehabilitation of a former shipyard, industrial site, large scale building demolition? For a very long time asbestos was widely used in industry and construction for innumerable applications, its still everywhere. It was not all that long ago that major work in these areas were performed without proper environmental remediation and prevention of contaminants such as asbestos entering the environment. I am thinking a lot of us that have lived in cities and urban areas and are/were around before or during the 70s and 80s may have been dosed to some extent..maybe even ongoing.
    Yes, unfortunately I grew up in a heavily industrialized area famous for the horrific air quality. In my area there were several plants that manufactured plastic and plastic items, and a refinery. Here's a photo I found that tells you how bad it was:

    The yellow layer is all pollution, and since the area is in a valley closed in by the Alps, the air never really cleaned up unless it rained.
    I know now it's a lot better, most factories have been retired and it's actually a pretty nice place to live.


    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Exposure to bird and bat droppings, (fungus is even common in some soils) can cause an infection in the lungs that leaves scars almost identical to asbestos exposure.
    Oh wow I did not know that! Well the place I grew up wasn't exactly a wildlife paradise (see pic above) but my grandparents lived in the country and I spent the summers with them as a kid. Maybe there? LOL that would be so ironic since my parents sent me there to recover from the crappy air...

    Also thank you everybody for the kind words of concern, much appreciated!
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    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Disclaimer, I'm not medically qualified, just a random internet weirdo

    There are roughly speaking 2 test methods for testing for TB, the skin scratch one (Mantoux) which is cheap and been around for years but not actually that reliable (false negatives and can't distinguish between previous BCG vaccination and TB) and the serology/blood one (IGRA based) which is relatively recent and far more expensive but far more reliable and can distinguish vaccination from exposure.

    Probably more than half the world's population has been exposed to TB (as determined by IGRA testing). It's very widely distributed (but especially South east Asia, Indian continent, etc) although in Europe and America's it's definitely present.

    My wife's investigation into fever of unknown origin (PUO) showed TB as an incidental finding. This doesn't mean she has TB disease (she doesn't) but does mean she had TB at some point probably childhood. Most cases are so minor people don't realise they had it, although a proportion are not minor, as the disease gets its infamy.

    Unless your TB testing was detailed blood serology (e.g. Quantiferon gold+) it's still a possibility you had a minor case of TB in the past, and if so, that's nothing to worry about
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    Italy was notorious for its use of industrial asbestos, lots of big lawsuits and claims for serious and terminal illness. Not sure why it was so prevalent in Italy, but it seems they were later than the rest of the world in classing it as HazMat.


    COSHH classify its threat to health at their highest level, mostly found in either, industrial factories and even the surrounding areas, lowlands (valleys etc etc where air circulates less) and old buildings where residual asbestos either from construction, or from decaying roofs, pipe insulation or fire protection, where it has decayed fallen off and become airborne.
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    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    The UK only banned asbestos for construction use in 1999 and it was routinely added to plaster products (artex ceilings for example) in homes in the 80s and 90s (or asbestos wool in the crumbling plaster in my kitchen. Thanks council!). Not sure if Italy is any worse than the rest of UK/Europe.

    Many countries are still enthusiastic about its use, need a new asbestos roof cheap? https://m.indiamart.com/proddetail/r...223599373.html
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    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    Disclaimer, I'm not medically qualified, just a random internet weirdo

    There are roughly speaking 2 test methods for testing for TB, the skin scratch one (Mantoux) which is cheap and been around for years but not actually that reliable (false negatives and can't distinguish between previous BCG vaccination and TB) and the serology/blood one (IGRA based) which is relatively recent and far more expensive but far more reliable and can distinguish vaccination from exposure.

    Probably more than half the world's population has been exposed to TB (as determined by IGRA testing). It's very widely distributed (but especially South east Asia, Indian continent, etc) although in Europe and America's it's definitely present.

    My wife's investigation into fever of unknown origin (PUO) showed TB as an incidental finding. This doesn't mean she has TB disease (she doesn't) but does mean she had TB at some point probably childhood. Most cases are so minor people don't realise they had it, although a proportion are not minor, as the disease gets its infamy.

    Unless your TB testing was detailed blood serology (e.g. Quantiferon gold+) it's still a possibility you had a minor case of TB in the past, and if so, that's nothing to worry about
    Wow that was so interesting, thank you!

    Originally Posted by BootneckBrah View Post
    Italy was notorious for its use of industrial asbestos, lots of big lawsuits and claims for serious and terminal illness. Not sure why it was so prevalent in Italy, but it seems they were later than the rest of the world in classing it as HazMat.
    That's a good question, I looked online a bit because my memory is a bit sketchy due to the fact I was still a kid.
    In the '50s and '60s Italy went through an economic boom which caused a huge increase in the construction industry. Most of Italy's infrastructure and industries were built in that time. Because Italy wasn't a rich country, housing targeted the lower and middle classes, which means they were done cheaply so they would sell or rent cheaply too. Asbestos is cheap so they didn't skimp on it. Also Eternit Group had a major plant in Italy so it was readily available, and its use was even encouraged to prop up the manufacturing plant.
    It use was banned as late as 1992 but there are so many buildings that contain it that it's been very difficult to dismantle and dispose of all that asbestos.

    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    The UK only banned asbestos for construction use in 1999 and it was routinely added to plaster products (artex ceilings for example) in homes in the 80s and 90s (or asbestos wool in the crumbling plaster in my kitchen. Thanks council!). Not sure if Italy is any worse than the rest of UK/Europe.
    Wait a minute, did you say asbestos wool?

    Oh chit... I think I know how it happened then...

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