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Cancer Risk from Asbestos
Fire fighters run into a bunch of different materials when they go into an old building. Structures constructed prior to the mid 1970s often were made with asbestos which can come loose in a fire . The respirators and masks that well-equipped departments use protect you from asbestos fibers which may be released during the fire or water impact on old walls. Another danger occurs during the overhaul stage when the fire is out. Firefighters enter the building to search for remaining hotspots, often without the use of respiratory protection. However, asbestos fibers can still be floating around at this point and pose a danger. Inhalation of fibers can result in asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma, or lung cancer. You might not be aware oft this danger at the time, as the symptoms of these diseases don�t appear until years after exposure.

For more information, see http://www.mesotheliomaweb.org/firesection1.htm
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