Once a common material for buildings such as offices, skyscrapers, and even homes, this dangerous material has been exposed to be incredibly dangerous. However, many people still don't fully understand the hazards associated with asbestos, how to spot it, or even what it is. Even if you don't think you've been exposed to asbestos, it is important to know the signs of its presence and to protect yourself and your family from the consequences of coming in contact with it.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a number of naturally occurring minerals that come in the form of fiber bundles. They are compounds containing oxygen and silicon on a molecular level. They can be separated into thin, sturdy strands and are resistant to extreme heat and electricity. For these reasons, industries all over the world have used asbestos for industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Steam pipes, fireproofing, paints, coatings, and ceiling tiles are just some of the many items that can contain asbestos.
What are the Health Risks of Asbestos?
Due to the small nature of asbestos fibers, when materials containing asbestos are disturbed, the fibers can be released into the open air. This causes the asbestos to be breathed into your lungs. Once inside your respiratory system, the curly nature of the fibers can cause them to hook into place and cause long-term scarring and inflammation. This can lead to health problems such as fatal cancer and mesothelioma. If you or someone you know is experiencing shortness of breath or chronic coughing, you should consult a professional, such as Hazmat Solutions Asbestos, to examine the potential presence of asbestos in your home or work area.
Signs of Asbestos
If your home was built before 1980, old pipes and other materials could very well contain asbestos. As the minerals that make up asbestos are not always visible, it is advisable to call a professional to inspect your home, often using a procedure called Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) to detect asbestos and take the necessary steps to remove it.
Asbestos is one of the most dangerous materials in modern day society. It can be virtually anywhere, from your home, to office, to the public pool. Because of this, it is vital to understand what it is, what health risks it poses, and how to recognize both its physical characteristics and the symptoms associated with its ingestion. If you suspect that you have an asbestos problem, you should have a professional remove it at once.