You’ve probably heard someone warn you about the dangers of asbestos to your health. So what is it, exactly?
Asbestos is a set of six found naturally minerals made up of soft, flexible, heat-resistant fibers. It can be used as long as it makes up less than 1% of the final product. Hundreds of consumer products in the United States still contain asbestos. Asbestos exposure leads to cancer and other disorders such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Here, we will dive deep into the subject of asbestos and discover why it is known for being harmful.
Asbestos comes in a variety of forms.
Six forms of asbestos are legally recognized under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986, divided into serpentine and amphibole.
The fibers of amphibole asbestos are linear and ragged. Five types have been identified:
Asbestos fibers from serpentine are curled. Only one type exists, Chrysotile, popularly known as “white asbestos.”
Because asbestos fibres are so difficult to disintegrate, the body cannot break them down or expel them once they have become lodged in body or lung tissues. They remain in an environment where they can spread disease. Therefore, it is essential to conduct asbestos clearance.
There are three major diseases associated with asbestos exposure:
- Lung Cancer
Three factors appear to influence your chances of having an asbestos-related disease:
- The amount and length of asbestos exposure – the more you are exposed to and the more fibres you take in, the more likely you are to develop asbestos-related disorders. While there is no such thing as a “safe level” of asbestos exposure, those exposed more frequently over time are more at risk.
- Whether or not you smoke- people who smoke and have been exposed to asbestos are far more likely to acquire lung cancer than people who do not smoke and have not been exposed to asbestos.
- Age- mesothelioma cases have been reported in children of asbestos workers who were only exposed to the dust brought home on the clothing of family members who worked with asbestos. When people inhale asbestos, the younger they are, the more likely they are to acquire mesothelioma. This is why huge efforts are being undertaken to protect schoolchildren from exposure.
Because each contact to asbestos upsurges the body load of asbestos fibers, reducing and minimizing your exposure is critical. But with a remediation action plan towards removing asbestos, you can keep your guard up.
So, why is asbestos dangerous?
When asbestos is friable, it is the most dangerous. The term “friable” refers to how easy asbestos can be crumbled by hand and release fibres into the air. Asbestos insulation that has been sprayed is extremely brittle. Asbestos floor tile is not one of them. Hiring a professional service to perform asbestos testing is a good way to get rid of this menace.
Floor tiles, shingles, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, fire doors, siding shingles, undamaged laboratory cabinet tops, and other asbestos-containing materials will not release asbestos fibres unless stirred or damaged in some way. For example, fibres may be released into the air if an asbestos ceiling tile is shattered or drilled. It will not if it is left not disturbed and alone.