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  • Medical Test For Asbestos Exposure












  • Medical Test For Asbestos Exposure

    The most common test used to determine if you have received sustained exposure to asbestos is a chest x-ray. A chest x-ray is recommended for detecting exposure to asbestos only in persons who have sustained relatively heavy exposure. A chest x-ray is of no value for detecting evidence of asbestos exposure in a person whose exposure to asbestos has been only brief or transient. The x-ray cannot detect the asbestos fibers themselves, but it can detect early signs of lung disease caused by asbestos. While other substances besides asbestos can sometimes produce similar changes in the lungs, this test is usually reliable for detecting asbestos-related effects produced by long-term exposures at relatively high concentrations of asbestos fibers. Other tests, such as gallium-67 lung scanning and high-resolution computed tomography, are also useful in detecting changes in the lungs. However, there are currently no means of detecting exposure-related effects from commonly encountered environmental exposures.

    The most reliable test to determine if you have been exposed to asbestos is the detection of microscopic asbestos fibers in pieces of lung tissue removed by surgery, but this is a very invasive test. A test can also be run to determine the presence of asbestos fibers in material rinsed out of the lung. However, this test can cause some discomfort. Asbestos fibers can also be detected in mucus (sputum), urine, or feces, but these tests are not reliable for determining how much asbestos may be in your lungs. Low levels of asbestos fibers are found in these materials for nearly all people. Higher-than-average levels can show that you have been exposed to asbestos, but it is not yet possible to use the results of this test to estimate how much asbestos you have been exposed to, or to predict whether you are likely to suffer any health effects. Please see the toxicological profile for more information about how asbestos can be measured in people and in the environment.

    Above information from an
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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    DEMPSEY, ROBERTS & SMITH, LTD.
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