How Can Asbestos Affect Your Health?
You’ve probably heard the term Asbestos before. That’s because before the 1980s Asbestos was commonly found in homes, schools, residential and commercial buildings, and materials. However, as people began to fall ill, the public began to question how can Asbestos affect your health. Studies into Asbestos soon revealed that it was an extremely dangerous substance for humans.
At Abestos Project Management we’ve been educating about the dangers of asbestos for years and offering a safe, reliable method of asbestos removal. Our team of experts has put together this blog to answer some of the questions about how asbestos can affect your health.
What Exactly is Asbestos?
According to the National Cancer Institute “Asbestos is the name given to six minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable threads for use in commercial and industrial applications.” Since the fiber bundles in Asbestos do not conduct electrical currents and are resistant to heat, fire, and many chemicals, they were used in a wide variety of industries and applications.
Currently, the minerals of Asbestos are divided into two major groups: Amphibole and Serpentine Asbestos. Most commercially fabricated asbestos products are made from Serpentine Asbestos because of the mineral chrysotile, which contains long, curly fibers that can be more easily woven together. Amphibole is used less frequently since its fibers are more brittle than Serpentine which limits its ability to be fabricated.
Where Should You Look for Asbestos?
Asbestos has a wide range of uses and applications, meaning it can be found in a wide variety of products. Its commercial uses started as early as the 1800s in the United States. One of the most common industries for Asbestos use was the building and construction industry. One of the more common uses was adding Asbestos to strengthen cement and plastic building materials, and it was also commonly found in insulation, roofing, fireproofing, and even sound absorption.
In addition to being found in the above building and construction materials, it can also be found in a wide variety of other common home materials. Asbestos has been found in paints, coatings, adhesives, plastics, and ceiling and floor tiles. Check out our other blogs to learn more about the potential dangers of Asbestos in your ceiling or check for Asbestos in flooring tiles.
How Can Asbestos Affect Your Health?
Asbestos is considered dangerous because of the numerous places it can be found. Individuals face potential exposure in their workplace, their communities, and even their own homes! When materials or products containing asbestos are disturbed they release tiny asbestos fibers into the air. Once breathed in these fibers can get trapped in the lungs. Once there they can remain there for a long time, which when combined with repeated exposure results in the accumulation of the fibers that will most likely cause scarring and inflammation. The scarring and inflammation can lead to breathing problems and other serious health issues.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have all classified Asbestos as a human carcinogen, a substance that is known to cause cancer. The IARC also believes that there is enough evidence to link Asbestos exposure as the main cause of mesothelioma (a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen), and other cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries.
Exposure to Asbestos fibers can also increase your risk of asbestosis, an inflammatory condition in the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, intense coughing, and permanent lung damage. It may also cause other nonmalignant lung disorders, including pleural (the membrane lining the thorax and lungs) plaques, pleural thickening, and benign pleural effusions. While pleural plaques are not a precursor to lung cancer, there is evidence to suggest those with pleural disorders caused by Asbestos exposure are at an increased risk of lung cancer.
Taking this into account, Asbestos exposure can potentially lead to:
- Breathing Problems
- Lung Cancer
- Larynx Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Pleural complications
- Other cancers
Asbestos is a very serious health risk and should not be taken lightly. While many studies suggest that long-term exposure to Asbestos fiber increases the risk of health complications, there have been health complications recorded from even short-term exposure. Coming in contact with Asbestos fibers puts your health at significant risk.
What to do If You Think Your Home Has Asbestos?
The thought of Asbestos being present where you live or work can be scary but don’t worry. If you suspect that your home or residential building potentially has a risk of Asbestos it is important to speak with an expert and conduct an asbestos test.
At Asbestos Project Management we offer at-home asbestos testing kits to offer your family peace of mind. Our No. 1 priority is to keep your family safe from the dangers of asbestos in your home. The fast, affordable, and reliable at-home testing kits we offer allow you to get results in less than half the time of a traditional asbestos inspection. Simply follow our step-by-step guide below and begin your journey to an asbestos-free environment.
In the event that you do detect the presence of Asbestos, you can trust Asbestos Project Management, one of the leading providers of Asbestos removal services. We specialize in professional asbestos removal in industrial, governmental, institutional, commercial, and residential properties. We use the latest abatement techniques and equipment. We take pride in our attention to detail and ensuring that each project is completed safely and effectively.
For nearly 3 decades Asbestos Project Management has been providing Asbestos removal services. We’re committed to maintaining the highest levels of education and certification. Our team strictly adheres to industry, government, and safety standards. Throughout the project, we will assist in ensuring that the proper permits are secured and any required inspections take place. We put safety first – both for our employees and our clients. Contact our Asbestos Project Management team today for asbestos removal services in residential, commercial, municipal, or industrial structures.
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