What is Asbestos and where is it used?
Asbestos is not a chemical manufactured compound, in fact it is a wide spread mineral fiber naturally occurring in the environment; found in soil and rocks. Since asbestos physically characterized by being non-flammable and non-combustible under normal conditions and thermal and electrical resistance, it is used in the world of industrial chemistry. With such properties asbestos has long been made it an ideal material for use in a number of products; used as in insulation, many constructions and manufactured goods. These include prefabricated building materials, boilers and pipes, cement products for roofing sheets and pipes and floor tiles, friction products like automobile clutches and brakes, insulating board to protect buildings and ships against fire and packaging materials.
Where could asbestos be located?
Asbestos can be found in so many any industrial products or buildings built before 1980. It has two forms depending on its degree of friability;
1-Friable asbestos products; A friable asbestos product is loose-fill asbestos used in insulation and was commonly used in1800s in many public buildings. This type is easily crumbled or reduced to a powder releasing fibers into the air.
2-Asbestos cement materials; that are tightly bound used in home buildings materials from the mid-1940s until the late 1980s. it was use particularly in wet areas such in the bathroom, laundry, kitchen, eaves and garage/shed of a house. If this type was in good conditions and had no destruction it poses no a health risk.
What happens to asbestos when it enters the environment?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, and it has many forms are found in two thirds of the rocks in the earth’s crust. Asbestos fibers are very tiny and very light can be carried by air or water easily after its breakdown either from wearing down of natural material or its deposits and from manufactured asbestos products well.
The breakdown Asbestos particles can be subdivided into fine fibers, suspend in the air for a long time and can be carried long distances by wind or water before settling down.
Does Asbestos Exposure Have Any Risks?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that those who breathe high concentrations of asbestos fibers for a long period of time are at a greater risk of developing asbestosis, pleural plaques, and mesothelioma or lung cancer. When asbestos is disturbed its fibers are inhaled, they precipitate in the membrane lining the lungs for a long time, causing inflammation and scar information causing breathing health problems. Several factors affect to be in more risk such as smoking is particularly making it worse. Being exposed to asbestos may lead to a serious rarely occurring disease; Mesothelioma which may be formed in the thin lining of several organs in the chest and the abdomen. Asbestosis is another form a lung disease due to long-term asbestos exposure that affects the health of the lungs but it is a non-cancer disease. World Health Organization has issued a document that asbestos fibers exposure is largely responsible for over 107,000 people die each year due to asbestos-related diseases.
How Can Asbestos be detected ?
As mentioned asbestos is everywhere in our life, it might be in your home exposing to it while being unaware of that because identify it by looking is not that simple. The only way to know if a product contains asbestos is to send bulk sample of the suspect material to a qualified laboratory. If you suspect that there might be asbestos containing material or suspect that you’re at risk, be calm because in general, the amount of fibers disturbed isn’t enough to cause any dangerous health effects unless they are inhaled in big amount and prolonged period. However, if your house was built with any kind of asbestos materials and you’re planning to remodel it your or found any damaged building materials that contains asbestos, it’s safer to hire a professional to inspect your home by testing for asbestos before doing anything. Disturbing the any material containing asbestos causes the fibers to be floating freely in the air, which may lead to the increase of the risk to your health and your family’s health?
If asbestos is found taking into account the prolonged period the material is disturbed, the amount of fibers floated in the air and the possibility of the above-mentioned serious health effects, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it before beginning work. In addition get chest x-ray or CT scans as they can detect early signs of lung disease caused by asbestos. These diagnostic tools will provide you with the necessary evidence if you are infected or not.