The Dangers of Asbestos
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a heat-resistant, fibrous, silicate-based material that can be woven into fabrics. It was also used in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, insulation, cabinets, shingles, siding, clothes, and more. Though the use of building materials containing asbestos ended in the 1980’s, they can still be found in homes across the country.
Why is it Dangerous?
Materials that contain asbestos aren’t usually dangerous unless they release dust or are damaged and then release fibers into the air. Once fibers or particles pass into the body’s systems, they can begin to cause problems. Since the human body can’t properly process asbestos, it can become lodged in the lungs and body tissue which can cause disease and infection. Some common diseases from Asbestos are: Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, and Mesothelioma.
Handling & Removal of Asbestos
The handling and removal of asbestos must be done with great care, due to its toxic and carcinogenic properties. It’s important to know if something in your house is made of asbestos and if it’s damaged or not. Some things that contain asbestos are: ceiling tiles, floor tiles, insulation, shingles, siding, clothes, ductwork connectors, cement, and more. Homeowners should never attempt to handle or remove asbestos-containing materials themselves. If you suspect something in your home contains asbestos, you should contact an asbestos professional to have it removed. These professionals know how to safely remove asbestos and have the ability to properly dispose of it.
What Exactly are These Diseases?
Asbestosis is a very serious respiratory disease. Asbestos fibers aggravate lung tissue and cause the tissue to scar. In the long-term, the effects of the disease can cause cardiac failure and can be permanently disabling or fatal.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can be caused by asbestos exposure. Nearly every case of mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure. It occurs most in the lung lining, chest, abdomen, and even the heart. 200 cases are diagnosed in the US each year. The younger the person exposed to asbestos is, the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma.
For more information on the causes and effects of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, go to Mesothelioma.net