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The Dangers of Asbestos

Posted on November 25, 2020 by Gino Mutters

If you browse the newspaper or watch the nightly news, it’s likely that you've found out about a few of the dangers of asbestos. What's often ignored in these messages, however, is that asbestos also offers several useful properties. If used responsibly and maintained in good shape, asbestos could be beneficial without causing harm.

What is asbestos? The word identifies microscopic, naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals. These minerals have already been useful for years by the construction industry. The three most typical forms of asbestos are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. Asbestos is often found in insulation, fireproofing, roofing, flooring, along with other building materials. The effectiveness of the fibers and asbestos's resistance to heat make these materials very helpful.

Why, then, are people afraid of asbestos? Well, asbestos is really a carcinogenic, toxic substance. Asbestos-containing materials aren't a health risk if they're left undisturbed. However, if these materials become damaged, the asbestos fibers separate and be airborne. That is when human exposure will probably occur, as asbestos could be inhaled in to the lungs.

While no "safe level" of exposure has been determined, health issues are more normal with greater and longer contact with the fibers. A few of these health issues include asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. It isn't true that asbestos causes headaches or sore muscles, as much once believed. Immediate medical issues like they are rarely seen. In most cases, most damaging health ramifications of asbestos exposure don't surface until a long time later. Perhaps that is why building buyers would rather err privately of caution when asbestos inspections are done.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rolling out an application for schools along with other building owners to keep asbestos fiber levels low. In order to protect students and residents, this program aims to instruct people how exactly to recognize asbestos-containing materials. In addition, it educates people about how exactly to control these materials and how to prevent exposure. With proper education and careful management, health threats from asbestos can theoretically be prevented.