Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is unique in its structure. The composition of the mineral makes it strong, fireproof, and resistant to breakdown from chemicals or heat. Asbestos is used in a range of common products, including insulation, cement, drywall, vinyl flooring tiles, and even in different types of sealants fireproofing solutions. However, asbestos is now known to be extremely dangerous and is linked to several serious health conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that is made up of six different types of fibers. The two most commonly used types of asbestos are chrysotile and amphibole. Asbestos fibers are very durable and resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals, which made them attractive for use in building materials, including insulation, flooring, and roofing products. Asbestos is not fully banned in the USA and is imported as long as the companies importing the raw asbestos follow specific restrictions and protocols to avoid health hazards.
Asbestos is dangerous due to the production of invisible fibers when crumbled or disturbed. This happens in renovations, demolitions, and upgrades of homes and businesses.
These fibers, once in the area, can spread significantly. Asbestos fibers are small and easily inhaled, which can lead to a range of serious health problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. These diseases may take several years or even decades to develop after exposure to asbestos, and there is no cure for them. Asbestos is dangerous because its fibers can become lodged in the lungs and cause inflammation and scarring that can lead to cancer and other diseases. Asbestos fibers can also settle on water or food items and be ingested. This is less common but still a concern.
The asbestos danger increases with length and level of exposure. There is a condition known as asbestos disease (mesothelioma) that typically occurs 10 to 40 years after exposure. During the latency time, there are no symptoms, but once symptoms begin, they include shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, chest and/or abdominal pain, and sometimes persistent coughing.
How to Prevent Exposure
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself and others from health risks associated with asbestos exposure. These include avoiding disturbed or damaged asbestos-containing materials, wearing protective clothing and masks when working with asbestos, and having a professional asbestos inspection done if you suspect asbestos may be present in your home or workplace.
Understanding what asbestos is and why it is dangerous is essential for protecting yourself and others from exposure. While asbestos has been banned in many countries, it still exists in many older buildings and materials, so it is important to take precautions to avoid exposure. By taking steps to protect yourself and being aware of the risks, you can help reduce the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
If you are concerned about the presence of asbestos in your home in Loveland, Fort Collins, or greater Northern Colorado, contact the asbestos mitigation experts at Aqua Restoration. For more information, call us today at 970-402-1036.