What is Asbestos?
Asbestos technically belongs to a group of minerals that contain the mineral chrysotile. The actual asbestos itself appears as a thin and long fiber. When this fiber is inhaled into the lungs it can lead to a variety of different ailments and harmful diseases. Asbestos was commonly used throughout the first half of the 20th century all the way up until the 1980’s. It was most commonly used in home insulation as a way of fire proofing houses. What the builders, miners, developers and people of then didn’t know though was that asbestos was actually an incredibly harmful thing. After years of research and scientific findings, the use of asbestos became less and less prevalent when people finally realized how harmful it was.
How Harmful is Asbestos to People?
Asbestos is incredibly harmful to people when they inhale asbestos fibers. Asbestos has been known to cause a few different harmful illnesses and diseases as well. Some of these include:
- Mesothelioma – A cancer in the lungs or abdomen that is extremely rare in the US, but has affected many people who have worked in asbestos manufacturing or coal mining. Some people are still finding out recently that they have been affected.
- Asbestosis – Harmful respiratory disease that is not cancerous, but very risky for those who work with asbestos materials or removal.
- Lung cancer – This cancer is the most common form of disease or ailment for those who have worked with or around asbestos.
What Can be Done to Eliminate Asbestos?
Eliminating asbestos is something that professionals never recommend for anyone to do. Someone with experience with asbestos removal should be contacted in order to have it removed if you believe you have asbestos in your home. Asbestos could be found in roofing materials, your basement or in the insulation in the walls. The reason it’s so harmful to remove is because the fibers are very small and thin and hard to see. When the asbestos is riled or disturbed, they become airborne and can be breathed in. This is why professionals generally always wear hazardous materials suits and masks to deal with removing this material.
Does Anyone Still Build With Asbestos?
Asbestos is mainly banned in the United States and has seen numerous asbestos-related items and things banned and removed. However, there are still a few things that are allowed to be sold in the US that contain asbestos-like certain car parts including gaskets and brake pads(disk).