Why is asbestos still a problem?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that has been used in a wide variety of products for its strength, fire resistance, and insulating properties. However, asbestos is also a known carcinogen, and exposure to asbestos can lead to a number of serious health problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Asbestos is still a major issue for many buildings around the country, as it was once declared a safe and cheap building material it was then used in various constructions, primarily in housing but also for business buildings, offices, stores, and even schools.
Asbestos was so widespread that even 40 years removed from when it was considered a suitable building material it is still found in buildings all over the country and there is still a very critical need for asbestos removal teams owing to how widespread it is as much of the country’s infrastructure was built when asbestos was around.
While you may think that the 80s is a long time ago, it has had large and lasting ramifications on the country and can still be found frequently.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that is made up of microscopic fibers. These fibers are long, thin, and flexible, and they can be easily released into the air when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed. There are six types of asbestos, but the most common types are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite.
Asbestos was used in almost all building materials in the 70s and 80s, from heat-resistant fabric to cement sheets, floor tiles, paints, and even flooring, the best way to contextualize asbestos is like a glue that sticks to everything, once released it can attach to almost any material which is why its so widespread and found in so many different materials.
It is a horribly dangerous material that can cause a myriad of health problems.
How Does Asbestos Cause Health Problems?
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in the lungs. Over time, these fibers can cause inflammation and scarring of the lungs, which can lead to a number of serious health problems. The severity of the health problems caused by asbestos exposure depends on the level of exposure and the length of time that a person is exposed.
There really isn’t a safe level of asbestos, even the smallest amount can cause a host of asbestos-related diseases regardless of the level of asbestos exposure and is incredibly dangerous to be around, so much so that in the united states the environmental protection agency has dedicated an entire department to asbestos-related injuries and have built a code of practices around the handling and removal of asbestos.
Health Effects of Asbestos Exposure
The most serious health effect of asbestos exposure is lung cancer. Other health problems that can be caused by asbestos exposure include mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung scarring. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Asbestosis is a lung disease that is characterized by scarring of the lungs. Lung scarring can make it difficult to breathe and can lead to respiratory failure.
With these lung problems, it can make life miserable and sadly many people have died from these diseases or are currently struggling with them to this day as asbestos is still regularly found in old homes and buildings built before the 90s.
The Occupational Safety and Health administrations of America and Australia have long studied asbestos and have dedicated entire departments to tackling the problem and educating about asbestos as it is such a massive hazard to everyone and workers that it can’t be understated enough how dangerous asbestos is.
How to Avoid Asbestos Exposure
The best way to avoid asbestos exposure is to avoid contact with asbestos-containing materials. If you think that you may have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to see a doctor right away. There is no cure for asbestos-related diseases, but early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve the chances of survival.
Even if you just suspect asbestos may be in a building or material you have been around its important to contact a professional team as soon as possible to have it investigated and to quarantine the area forbidding humans to enter the premises unless they’re a qualified professional looking to inspect the site and confirm if there are asbestos-related materials or not.
Asbestos is a dangerous mineral fiber that can cause a number of serious health problems. It is important to avoid contact with asbestos-containing materials and to seek medical attention if you think that you may have been exposed.
Even if you just suspect an area may be riddled with asbestos, you should contact a professional team as soon as you suspect it, as we’ve hopefully educated you on today, asbestos is a toxic dangerous material that can be found in several different places and can cause a myriad of life-altering and often life-ending health conditions for which there is no cure.