Asbestos, a mineral widely used in the construction of buildings - and in many industrial activities - due to its insulating capacity and its resistance to heat and fire, among other properties, was labeled in 1978 as a dangerous substance for Health Y carcinogenic, although in our country its use was not prohibited until December 2001.
Asbestos enters the body through the respiratory tract and, in the long term - sometimes up to 20 years after exposure to it - causes lung diseases, some as serious as lung cancer or malignant pleural mesothelioma. Now, a new study conducted in the United Kingdom, by a group of scientists from the Buxton Health and Safety Laboratory in Derbyshire, has shown that this mineral also has serious repercussions on the cardiovascular health of those who inhale it, and increases the risk of suffering a pathology of this type.
Workers exposed to asbestos were much more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than the rest of the population
For 19 years, the authors of the study followed about 100,000 people who had been in contact with asbestos in the performance of their work. In that time, 15,557 people died, 4,185 as a result of a heart failure, and 1053 per stroke.
Even taking into account that around half of the deceased were smokers, the researchers conclude that workers exposed to asbestos were much more likely to die as a result of cardiovascular disease than the rest of the population. Specifically, men who had worked in the industrial elimination of asbestos, had a 63% more chance of dying from stroke, and 39% more from heart disease. While women employed in the manufacturing industry had twice the risk of dying from stroke and 89% more likely to suffer a myocardial infarction.
Scientists believe that this increased risk is due to the fact that the inhaled asbestos fibers pass into the blood, and exert a inflammatory action on the arteries, favoring the development of atherosclerosis, which leads to an obstruction of the arteries that has harmful effects on the heart and brain.