Asbestos does sound dangerous. But unless you’ve been exposed to it or you know someone who has been, you don’t really think about it that much about asbestos exposure.
Asbestos, which are mineral fibers can be found in both rock and soil and they have been incredibly useful to manufacturers for several reasons. They are quite flexible, resistant to heat, electricity and chemicals. Because of those properties they have been used for many years in the construction industry, automotive industry and even textile industry.
Asbestos is usually found in:
- Wall and attics as insulation
- Vinyl tiles for floors
- Siding on houses
- Fire-resistant fabrics and so on
When handled or damages, asbestos fibers separate easily. And even though they are too small for you see, they can be easily inhaled and can cause health problems.
Health problems caused by asbestos exposure
The microscopic fibers of asbestos that you inhale or swallow, easily become trapped in either your respiratory and digestive system. Our body has a natural process of getting rid of foreign material, but sometimes that fails and asbestos fibers can become permanently stuck in our body.
Since asbestos is dangerous when inhaled/digested, there is no “safe amount’. After years and years of exposure, you can start developing health problems and asbestos exposure can even be carcinogenic.
Asbestos accumulation in a human body can have severe a harmful effect on cells, which can lead to cancer or other types of diseases.
Most common types of cancer caused by asbestos exposure are:
- Lung cancer
- Laryngeal cancer
- Mesothelioma and
- Ovarian cancer
Aside from cancer, asbestos exposure can cause a series of other health problems such as:
- Asbestosis – is the inflammation or scarring of lung tissue which prevents your lungs from functioning properly
- Pleural effusion – fluid buildup around the lungs which causes breathing difficulties
- Pleurisy – severely inflamed pleural lining
This of course isn’t the entire list of the detrimental effects of asbestos. Scientist continuously research and investigation of other diseases that might also be caused by asbestos exposure.
Developing first symptoms can take some time, sometimes even 10-70 years after the initial exposure. The most frequent signs of asbestos-related health problems are:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Other cancer-related symptoms
How do you get exposed to asbestos?
When microscopic asbestos fibers become airborne, asbestos exposure happens. The mineral dust that forms can linger in the air for hours, putting everyone in close proximity at risk of exposure.
Even in an ideal environment, it can take up to 2-3 days for the dust to settle. Asbestos dust is very light and can easily be disturbed and become airborne again.
Most common ways you can get asbestos exposure is through your line of work i.e. your occupation.
Asbestos was widely used in constructions up to the 1980s for insulation and popcorn ceilings. Years later, they have realized how dangerous this material is and since then, asbestos has found other not so dangerous alternatives.
In order to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure of prevent it altogether, you should conduct thorough asbestos testing for your home/property. If the building was built before the 1980s, there’s a high probability that asbestos was used during constructions and it needs to be removed. Removal of asbestos will ensure that your private/public space is safe and that there are no risks of asbestos exposure.
At ASAP Restoration LLC we understand the dangers of asbestos exposure and put safety first. We are well equipped and experienced in asbestos testing and removal from homes, schools and even commercial buildings. With us, you can rest assured that your space will be asbestos free.