Although asbestos occurs naturally and has been used for over 4000 years, it’s almost a silent problem. Asbestos has been known to bring about hazardous health issues since the day of the Romans when they realized that people working with asbestos usually developed problems with their lungs.
Even so, legislation to control asbestos usage was not introduced until late 20th century. But what makes asbestos so dangerous?
Asbestos is usually mixed with other products.
This is arguably the biggest issue with asbestos. It is not always easy to recognize its presence. Asbestos has been mixed with cement to design pipes, roofing sheets, and other construction materials. This is due to its sturdiness and resistance to fire.
It was woven into rugs and utilized in decorative ceiling finishes and even simple structures like gazebos as well. It has also been found in talcum powder in small quantities which means it got its way into kids’ crayons at some point. Be aware of a lot of products being recalled that were imported from China. This is a large and serious problem as the products contaminated are across such a large spectrum. Inspectors have even found traces in things like toys and woman’s makeup.
The primary culprit, however, is construction materials, which means any person who works in or around buildings constructed in the second half of the 20th century need to be particularly aware of the areas where this substance can hide and take precautions to reduce the risks involved. Call a professional asbestos removal company like asbestos Calgary if you suspect you have any asbestos in your home, or someone certified in your area.
Asbestos has Adverse Long-term Health Side Effects
Given the long-term nature of the health problems caused or amplified by exposure to asbestos means that individuals who may have been exposed in the past will have a hard time tracing back these issues to their root cause. Diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer take years to develop and so, it could take decades before the problem is even noticed.
Smoking Amplifies Asbestos Effects
According to numerous studies, smokers are at a heightened risk of asbestos-related health issues than those who do not smoke. This means it can be hazardous to smoke if your work involves dealing with asbestos. So, even if you are following the latest asbestos handling techniques, you may want to do away with smoking.
After all, smoking cigarettes is in itself harmful to your long-term health, and it does not make sense to amplify the problems further.
Asbestos dust isn’t visible to the Naked Eye
It is impossible to see asbestos once it gets airborne. That’s because the fibers are too small to be seen. Usually, there isn’t a problem when asbestos is contained in building materials, but the fact that it’s too easy to disturb and make it airborne makes it a serious issue. Once asbestos is released into the air, it is easy to inhale which causes health problems down the line.
This means if you are working anywhere, particularly on old buildings, you need to be careful if you suspect that the materials you are handling may contain asbestos. These include early types of pipe insulation as well as some floor in tiles.
If you’re in doubt, contact a professional for an inspection. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry, and your health is more crucial than cutting corners in this regard.