The Dangers of Asbestos

Aug 27 07:21 2008 Dean M Novosat Print This Article

The process of removals begins with enclosing the entire work area. For smaller jobs the area can be covered in a plastic bag.

Asbestos is the common name for a group of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals that can separate into thin but strong and durable fibers. The principal forms of asbestos include chrysotile,Guest Posting crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite. These minerals that have been used in commercial products such as insulation. Asbestos, unfortunately, has been discovered to be a known carcinogen and inhalation of asbestos may result in the development of lung cancer or mesothelioma. When inhaled, the asbestos fibers settle deep in the lungs, causing scars. 

Asbestos has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. There are three types of asbestos: chrysotile (which is white or greenish in color), crocidolite (which is blue in color), and amosite (which is a gray-green color). These minerals are made up of fibrous bundles which makes asbestos very strong. Pound for pound, asbestos is stronger than steel. It has been used not just for decades but for centuries, and has been used for a variety of purposes and in many different applications. It became very popular over the years because of its cost effectiveness, its versatility, and its remarkable fire and heat resistant properties.

Asbestos is still used in transportation in brake linings on airplanes, large trucks, and tractors. It is mined just like any other mineral.

Asbestos removal is an expensive and serious undertaking. Improper removal methods can create more of a risk than existed before removal. Asbestos removal is a primary concern in public buildings, such as schools, and in buildings that are going to be demolished. Removal is a very costly operation which must be conducted by highly specialized contractors and workers. Hasty elimination of asbestos insulation considerably increases the probability that controls will not be adequately enforced, thus allowing excessive airborne asbestos dust and presenting a high risk not only for the workers, but for building occupants as well. With the many health risks associated with asbestos, it is best left to a professional for removal.

Exposure to asbestos is associated with several serious health problems. Exposure to the asbestos dust can lead to asbestosis which is a disabling and ultimately fatal scarring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a rapidly fatal and painful cancer of the lining of the chest, abdomen or heart. It is also known to cause cancer of the colon, vocal chords, rectum and kidneys. Lung cancer is the most common ailment associated with asbestos and it takes 15 to 20 years to develop cancer after exposure.

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Dean M Novosat
Dean M Novosat

Dean Novosat writes about asbestos and health issues on Asbestos Removal

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