A new study has found that people living in areas with high levels of asbestos in their homes are more likely to be diagnosed with asbestos-related conditions.
According to a new study, people living at the top of the socio-economic scale tend to have the highest risk of developing asbestos-induced health issues such as chronic lung disease and fibrosis.
The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, looked at data from more than 2,000 adults and found that the people living on the top 5 percent of the income distribution had a higher risk of being diagnosed with fibrosis, chronic lung diseases and fibroid cancer.
“Our findings indicate that, as the number of people living above the top 1 percent of income distribution increases, the incidence of fibrosis and fibro-sclerosing diseases increases, and the incidence and mortality of fibroid cancers also increases,” said lead author Jennifer Ehrlich, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
“People living in the upper 5 percent have the lowest risk, with only one case of fibrotic fibrosis.”
Fibrosis is a rare disease that affects the skin and joints of the body, and occurs when asbestos fibers build up in the body.
The condition is not life-threatening and can be treated by taking medication, as long as the person takes regular care to keep their joints healthy.
According the researchers, the results of the study also indicate that people who live in areas where asbestos abats are more at risk of fibro disease and lung cancer.
While people who lived in areas that had high levels in their soil were also more likely than those living in more remote areas to develop fibrotias, people who spent more time outdoors were also at higher risk.
“In other words, it’s the lifestyle that can make or break you, but it’s also how much exposure you have to asbestos that is important,” said Ehrlein.
“We’re all exposed to asbestos, but what it does to you is more important.”
According to the National Institute of Occupation and Environmental Health, there were 1.7 million asbestos abattoirs in the United States in 2015, with more than 1.1 million workers exposed to the toxic substance.
More than a third of all workers in the US who are currently living with asbestos exposure were exposed to it while working in the mining, manufacturing or construction industries.
“The amount of time we spend outdoors has an impact on fibrosis,” said Dr. Amy Zellner, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and a co-author of the new study.
“When we work outdoors, the amount of dust we’re inhaling is more than 10 times what we’re breathing.”
She added that it is important to know your fibrosis risk levels because the more fibrotia you have, the higher your fibroid risk.
The University of Oregon study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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