10/10/11 12:58PM Asbestos, Asthma, Mesothelioma, Toxic Exposure

Muscle Cars and the Hidden Dangers of Toxic Exposure



 Muscle cars can be fast. Muscle cars can be sleek. Muscle cars can be sexy. However, they can also be harmful or, in some instances, even deadly to those who spend their time restoring classic automobiles.

Older and classic cars can harbor hidden dangers. One of the major problems that can result from spending time with one's beloved older or classic automobile is that restoring these cars can put one into contact with asbestos particles, and that exposure has the potential to result in mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare but very serious form of cancer that can attack the tissue of the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs. Treating this dangerous cancer can be a long and difficult process that may involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of the three.

Of course, mesothelioma isn't the only potential danger lurking as you restore an older car. There are other, far more common, risks involved in engaging in this activity. Exposure to the chemicals used in auto restoration can have a variety of effects. For instance, coming into contact with solvents can cause skin irritation; dermatitis may result from such exposure.

Inhaling the chemicals involved in automobile restoration can have detrimental effects. While short-term exposure may not have serious, long-term effects, restoring a classic car can be a very intensive process that involves long hours of hard work. That means many chances to inhale dangerous chemicals such as those used in solvent. This exposure can result in a variety of health issues. Prolonged exposure may result in permanent damage to the central nervous system and/or cancers other than mesothelioma.

Then, of course, there is the risk of worsening pre-existing conditions. For instance, if one suffers a condition such as asthma or chronic bronchitis, those conditions could easily be aggravated by the inhalation of the chemicals used in restoring automobiles.

The exact potential for harm from engaging in automobile restoration depends on the specific chemicals used, the level of exposure and the constitution of the person who is involved in the activity.

There are steps that can be taken to decrease the potential risks. Donning gloves and a facemask can help to limit one's direct contact with the chemicals. Also, limiting the amount of time spent working on the auto can reduce some health problems; however, one still needs to be mindful of the potential problems that can result from long-term exposure.