What is asbestos?
Formerly widely used in various building materials for insulation and as a flame retardant, a natural mineral fiber. Due to the strength of fibers and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used for a wide variety of manufactured products:
- Mainly in building materials (tiles, ceiling, and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos-cement products)
- Friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and gear parts)
- Heat-resistant tissues (packaging, joints, and coatings).
Intact and undisturbed asbestos-containing materials generally do not pose a health risk. However, these materials can be dangerous and represent a higher risk of damage. This is because they change or deteriorate over time and release asbestos fibers into the air in the building.
Currently, it’s miles criminal to encompass asbestos in nearly all forms of American merchandise. So long as the product no longer comprises extra than 1 percentage asbestos.
However, before the current regulations, many older buildings and machinery in the United States still contained products with a high percentage of asbestos. In addition, Indian and Chinese manufacturers regularly use asbestos in their factories.
Asbestos remains a threat to people’s health in the US and around the world.
Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Microscopic asbestos fibers cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. Asbestos exposure does not cause immediate symptoms, so it is easy for a person to inhale or ingest asbestos dust without realizing it.
Once asbestos fibers are in the body, they never dissolve, and the body has extreme difficulty driving them out. Over the years, trapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring, and ultimately genetic damage to cells in the body.
Asbestos-related diseases often take 20-50 years to develop, meaning most cases in the US were caused by asbestos exposure before modern safety regulations came into effect.
Occupational exposure is the leading cause of asbestos-related illness, followed by exposure to second-hand asbestos. However, asbestos-related diseases can also occur in people who live in a polluted environment or regularly use consumer goods containing asbestos.
Asbestos has the worst effects; no exposure to asbestos is safe. It makes a difference whether it is intensive concentration or regular exposure over a more extended period. With each direction, more asbestos builds up in the body. There is no known way to reverse the cell damage it has caused.
Health Risks of Asbestos
Asbestosis is a severe, progressive, long-lasting lung disease that is not cancerous. Instead, it is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, which irritate lung tissues and cause tissue scars. Scars make it difficult for oxygen to get into the blood. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a crackling, dry sound in the lungs when you inhale. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for asbestosis.
Lung cancer – causes the most significant number of asbestos-related deaths. People who work in mining, milling, manufacturing, and using asbestos and its products are more likely to develop lung cancer than the general population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are cough and changes in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, hoarseness, and anemia.
Mesothelioma – is a rare form of cancer that occurs in the thin lining (membrane) of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and heart; almost all cases are related to exposure to asbestos; however, this disease cannot appear until many years after asbestos. Great efforts are therefore made to prevent children from being exposed.
Asbestos management is a severe problem. Billions of dollars have been invested in removing asbestos-containing materials from schools, homes, and commercial buildings before 1980.
While the encapsulation methods of spray connections are the most common means for walls, blankets, and pipes, they can not enter a primary floor.
Simply laying a new carpet or tile over an existing asbestos floor is not a viable solution. In addition, they do not provide an airtight containment and will degrade over time, which can re-release asbestos fibers.
Asbestos removal (concrete grinding) is probably the most common solution for dealing with materials containing asbestos. However, there are a few significant drawbacks to removal that should be considered:
- Cost factor. The total costs of a complete reduction are enormous.
- Price for laying a new floor covering.
- Downtime for residents and employees. The reduced area must be contained (wholly sealed) during a removal operation.
If an apartment building is to be treated, all residents must be relocated before starting the project. Likewise, suppose an office building is affected. In that case, all employees have to move, or the business is closed for the project’s duration, costing that company valuable time and revenue.
In addition, the building owner is liable for life in the landfill once the landfill has been completed. You are liable for material containing asbestos even after it has left your premises.