Even though you probably heard about asbestos and how hazardous it is for our health, not many people know what it is and just how bad it is for you. Asbestos exposure can lead to long-term health problems if exposed to it on a regular basis. Don’t worry you can limit your asbestos exposure using this guide. Here’s an Asbestos 101 guide explaining what it is, all the health complications it can cause and how to remove it from your environment.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral that can be found in nature. Asbestos minerals are silicate compound, which means their molecule structure is made of silicon and oxygen. There are two major groups of these minerals: Serpentine and Amphibole asbestos and both have more or less commercial applications. Asbestos fibers are heat, fire and chemical resistant and they don’t conduct electricity. Because of those reasons, they can found their use in many industries and many products.
Where is asbestos used?
Because of their structure and properties, asbestos minerals are used for construction materials, textiles and automotive parts. You can also find asbestos in various materials. For example, you can find it in wall and attic insulation, shingles, siding on houses, protective blankets for water pipes, car brakes, fire-resistant fabrics and vinyl tiles used for floors. You cannot tell if something contains asbestos just by looking at it (unless it’s clearly labeled), it has to be tested in a laboratory.
What are the health hazards asbestos exposure?
People are exposed to asbestos in their homes or communities, but their workplace is the most likely culprit. When asbestos is disturbed, microscopic fibers are released and become airborne. Then people can breathe them in, and they get trapped in the lungs. Asbestos stays in the lungs for a long time and even more can accumulate with exposure. That accumulated asbestos fibers can cause inflammations and scarring which can make breathing difficult and cause other serious health complications.
Asbestos stays in the lungs for a long time and even more can accumulate with exposure. That accumulated asbestos fibers can cause inflammations and scarring which can make breathing difficult and cause other serious health complications.
Many countries classified asbestos as a substance that causes cancer in humans. Research has shown that asbestos exposure increases the risk of cancer. Most doctors diagnose patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma (cancer of membranes that line the abdomen and chest) that have been exposed to asbestos frequently. The association between asbestos and gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer has been suggested by different studies, as well as the higher risk for throat, kidney, gallbladder and esophagus cancer.
Also, asbestos exposure has been linked with the increased risk of asbestosis that manifests itself with symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage. It has also been linked with other benign lung disorders such as pleural plaques, thickening, and pleural effusion. Research also suggests that people with asbestos-caused pleural diseases are at higher risk for lung cancer.
How to prevent asbestos exposure?
Approximately every third house in Australia would contain some asbestos, especially if it was built in the 80s. If you suspect something in your house contains asbestos, experts advise not to touch it. If a product that contains asbestos is in good shape, it’s not a health hazard as long as it’s not damaged. If the asbestos is disturbed, it can get in the air and there’s a possibility you will inhale or ingest it. If you’re not sure your home contains asbestos and how to protect asbestos products properly, don’t start your home remodeling or demolition projects. You can find experts in
Demolition projects can increase your chances of asbestos exposure if it is found in any of the materials in your home. It is important that you find experts that are trained asbestos removal. I highly suggest a company that specializes in asbestos removal in Melbourne to perform the inspection. They will conduct the research on potential hazards, professionally remove any asbestos from your home and appropriately manage all the waste disposal.
Be aware of asbestos products in your home, conduct regular checks for any signs of damage, and limit access to potentially hazardous areas. Don’t sweep or vacuum asbestos debris or dust.
Now that you know exactly what asbestos is and how dangerous it actually can be for your health, you can take the necessary precautions. Do limit your asbestos exposure and ensure that you protect your health. It is important that asbestos is properly handled and you have to maintain the integrity of anything that contains asbestos in your home or workspace. When in doubt, always call experts who will come to your aid.