Asbestos fibers do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. They can enter the air and water when natural deposits weather and manufactured products, like brake pads, begin wearing down. The small fibers can stay suspended in the air for a while before they eventually settle, while the larger fibers fall more quickly.
Asbestos can enter your body through your lungs. If you inhale low levels of asbestos fibers floating in the air, those fibers will be deposited on the cells of your lungs. But few of these fibers will actually move through your lungs into your body. Instead, most fibers will be carried away in a layer of mucus and sent to your throat. From there, they are swallowed and collect in your stomach. This process happens within a few hours of asbestos exposure.
Fibers that have been deposited into the deeper areas of your lungs are removed at a slower pace. So some of these may remain in your lungs for years and years; others are never carried elsewhere.
Drinking asbestos fibers that have been deposited in water as a result of natural resources, or from asbestos-containing cement pipes is another way to become exposed. If you drink the fibers, they generally pass through your system, with a small number becoming stuck in your stomach or intestines.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, please contact the experienced mesothelioma lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. for a free initial consultation.