Chest 118; Asbestosis

20 Mar
Chest 118 asbestosis C

Chest 118; Asbestosis

The original chest X-ray comes from a man with calcification of his pleura (the membrane that lines the inside of the chest and surrounds the lungs) due to long term exposure to asbestos dust in the mines of Western Australia.
All forms of asbestos cause lung disease but the type that is most harmful is Crocidolite – Blue asbestos. The disease is usually due to inhaling fine asbestos fibres over a long period of time. People exposed in their workplace are most at risk but occasional incidental exposure can lead to malignant change.
When asbestos fibres are inhaled the tiny sharp needle-like crystals penetrate deeply into the lungs causing slow, chronic inflammatory reaction leading to fibrosis of the lungs. This makes the tissues stiff and the total volume shrinks. The affected person gets slow onset of shortness of breath and eventually respiratory failure. The pleura may calcify and is at risk of developing malignant tumours known as mesothelioma.
As a child living on a copper-mine in Zambia I liked collecting geological specimens and treasured a large piece of Crocidolite that I was given. I would demonstrate the fibrous nature of the rock by pulling strands off to show my friends and kept it on a shelf with my other rocks in my bedroom. Even though concerns about the dangers of asbestos had been known since the early 1930s, they weren’t generally recognised even in a mining community like ours. Asbestos wasn’t removed from production in Australia until the 1980s.
In this picture I have used a spray-painted graffiti style and mixed blue colours with scarlet to symbolise blue asbestos and the malignant scarlet beast – mesothelioma: So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns (Revelation 17:3)

9 Responses to “Chest 118; Asbestosis”

  1. leecleland March 20, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    Lovely image for such a nasty condition. The clear blues really throw the reds and blacks into high relief. I worked in a laboratory in the mid 60’s and we used raw asbestos fibres as a filtrate substance for one of our tests, and occasionally had asbestos fights throwing the stuff at each other. Yes, young and foolish 🙂

    • Xraypics March 21, 2015 at 12:51 am #

      Yeah, asbestos, such a bad substance but so useful in so many ways, no wonder people were reluctant to stop using it. Thanks for the comment.

  2. elmediat March 25, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    Excellent composition – really works with the subject material.
    A few years back now there was a change in policy for on site working conditions here in Ontario. It was required that locations where asbestos materials had been used in the construction in building that appropriate warning signs had to be posted. This was to ensure that proper safety precautions were taken if there was any maintenance work on older buildings. So a strange situation arose where there would be these signs all over the school warning of asbestos.

    • Xraypics March 25, 2015 at 9:42 am #

      Yes things can get a little over regulated – how will it help if the asbestos is not removed. makes you wonder.

      • elmediat March 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

        Supposedly, as long as the material not in the open and was undisturbed there was no problem. If any work had to be done, then all sort of precautions had to be taken and only workmen were allowed in the area.

  3. Charles Franklin August 27, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    Asbestos have killed a lot of people. Warn for the government to immediately handle it. Stop manufacturing and using asbestos materials.

  4. Dampier November 10, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    thx for your info friend. terrible disease ! but I think the general public is not sufficiently aware of the dangers of asbestos , asbestos is still widely in use in most homes . and the government has not so decisively handle all of this . I hope that public awareness could be even higher, to immediately remove asbestos

    • Xraypics November 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

      Agree entirely mate. It’ll be decades before it is all cleared. Keep up the good work, and keep safe.

  5. Photobooth Journal June 8, 2018 at 5:54 pm #

    Does that mean that you and your friends were exposed to asbestos or is it only in a refined or processed form that it is dangerous, Tony? I must say I winced when I read about you pulling off the fibres! 😬

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