Asbestos is naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals, which are microscopic in nature. This mineral has been used for a long time in the construction industry. It is majorly used in flooring, roofing, insulation, fireproofing and other construction materials. If carefully and properly used, they do not cause any harm.
Asbestos is considered deadly if not carefully handled by a professional or someone like a home owner who is fully aware of asbestos and the implications involved. However, this was not known to people for a very long time. As a result, people were left exposed and in danger of getting sick due to the use of asbestos. What is even worse is the fact that the signs and symptoms of the diseases associated with asbestos can start showing after a period of between 5 and 20 years.
Asbestos has adverse health effects. It causes deadly diseases, which include mesothelioma lung cancer and diffuse pleural thickening to name a couple. Asbestos is carcinogenic in nature – if the materials and contents of asbestos are damaged or disturbed, the asbestos fibers separate, and they become airborne; consequently, the asbestos is considered to be in their most dangerous form, since it can be inhaled into the lungs.
Asbestos related illnesses are known to be more severe with longer and greater exposure to the harmful materials. However, there is no known standard measure of a safe level when it comes to exposure to asbestos. It is imperative to note that asbestos does cause headaches and muscle pain as people have been made to believe. Its effects are rather long-term and surface many years after the exposure to asbestos.
While asbestos dust is visible to the human eye, once it turns and becomes airborne, it can no longer be seen. The fibers are too minute to be seen with a naked eye. One major risk that faces us is that it is very easy to disturb asbestos. That is due to the versatile nature of its use. It is present in some carpets, some insulation, and other areas that we have to be close to every day. If you are working at home, be careful on how you handle things. If you suspect any exposed asbestos, call in a specialist to investigate. If you happen to be working at a place where the exposure to asbestos is rampant, ensure you are trained on handling and be sure to follow the Ontario Regulation 278/05.
The Environmental Protection Agency released a permit that allows only very small levels of asbestos in building materials. While this was a good measure, it still threatens the life of an ordinary citizen to be near this harmful compound. Modern people know and understand the dangers associated with asbestos and has rendered it being sidelined in its former use as prime construction material.
Given the health dangers of asbestos, its use has almost been phased out. For those who still have the asbestos containing material in their home, have professionals inspect them. If you want them removed, look for professional help.