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4 Serious Illnesses Linked to Asbestos Exposure

4 Serious Illnesses Linked to Asbestos Exposure

Breathing is the most common and easiest way for asbestos to enter the body, and materials that contain asbestos are not considered dangerous unless they are releasing fibers into the air that could be breathed in or ingested. These fibers become trapped within the mucus membranes in the throat and nose. They may be removed, but sometimes they travel deeper into the lungs or in the digestive tract. As they become trapped inside of the body, they will start to cause problems.

Asbestosis

This progressive and chronic lung disease is caused by inhaling fibers of asbestos over long periods of time. Over time, these fibers cause scarring of the lungs which becomes hard and rigid, preventing the lungs from working properly. Persistent coughing, chest tightness, and breathlessness are just a few of the symptoms associated with the lack of oxygen. Asbestosis may get worse over time leading to respiratory failure as well as death, with no cure for the disease. It is diagnosed by a lung function test or an x-ray. This disease is not seen in those who have never worked with asbestos, and is not usually caused by long range exposure. The most risk is for those who are demolishing or renovating a building that contains asbestos. Precaution should be taken for those who are working in these types of buildings.

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Pleural Disorders

The tissue that is present to line the chest cavity and cover the surface of the lungs is called the pleura. Asbestos exposure will produce thick patches, called plaques, on the pleura or may cause sprawling fibrosis of the pleura, as well as fluid in the chest cavity. These pleural disorders are not cancerous, but they will show up on an x-ray for diagnosis. Although there may not be any outward symptoms, it will show a reduced lung capacity when tested through a lung function test.

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Malignant Mesothelioma

This is a rare cancer that affects the pleura. This is where it beings, and then it will spread to the lungs and then to the chest walls. Although rare, it will sometimes make its way to the heart. Currently, there is no cure, and it is associated with long exposure to asbestos. Each year, there are about 200 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States. 65 year old David Hoff was just awarded $8.75 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit. The money covers his medical bills as well as his pain and suffering, past, present, and future. A product he used for work in the 70’s knowingly contained asbestos, thus exposing him to the harmful side effects many years later.

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Lung Cancer

There is a significant risk of lung cancer in those who are exposed to a large amount of asbestos over an extended period of time, and this risk is actually substantially greater in those people who are smokers as well. After the tumor appears on the lung and is not treated, it will grow and spread over the lungs and eventually to the rest of the body. A persistent cough is the first sign of those who are diagnosed with lung cancer. After asbestos exposure, lung cancer may take anywhere from 10 to 20 years to develop. In one study, it was found that those who have worked around asbestos and also smoke are almost 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those people who have never been exposed to asbestos and do not smoke.

In the 1980’s, the majority of building materials were made with asbestos, exposing millions of young workers to the fibers during this period of time. People who have worked in drywall, insulation, home building, automotive engineering, and industrial manufacturing make up most in a list of those who are affected with asbestos related health problems and cancers. Because of this, many companies are facing lawsuits regarding their role in civilian exposure to cancer causing asbestos.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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