Potential Risks And Hazards Related To Use Of Asbestos

Asbestos is not a single chemical as we name oxygen, carbon and so on. It is actually a name given to collection of six minerals that occur in nature on its own. People usually dig them out from mines. Six minerals that make up asbestos include “Amosite, Actinolite, Anthophyllite, Chrysotile, Crocidolite and Tremolite”. All of a sudden why we need to talk about Asbestos is because most of our houses use these minerals in form of floor tiles, wall tiles, etc. They are harmless until they are disturbed. Once they are disturbed then they release most harmful inner contents in form of fiber. These fibers cause various health complications. It’s quite important to acquire knowledge about such harmful mineral collections as they are found with us in our very own houses.

How they are used?

As mentioned, Asbestos is a collection of different minerals which are mixed with other chemicals to make useful products like tiles. Though they are not used in major proportions, their presence completes those products. Chemically, they are friable in nature where once they are disturbed they release small dust like particles that contain fibers. Inhaling these fibers cause series of health complications that may be life threatening.

Otherwise, Asbestos are highly resistant towards hot sun, heat, other chemicals and highly stable too in their structures. They can fight against evaporation and do not get dissolved also in polar solvents. As they are resistant to heat and not dissolved in water, they are good used as insulators. With unique set of chemical and physical properties, people started using this in almost all household products without knowledge about consequences or side effects.

Generally, asbestos in a fixed proportion is mixed with few other chemicals or materials to make products. Based on survey conducted in all products containing asbestos, the concentration of asbestos used in all of them can fall between 1 to 100 percent depending on products. Some of common examples of household products that contain asbestos include the following: cements, pipes made of cements, roofs, tiles, insulation used for boilers and pipes, building insulation, etc. Usually when asbestos are included in insulation materials, they all should be labeled accordingly to educate people.

Risks associated with Asbestos

As mentioned above, Asbestos is not a usual chemical that follows regular physical and chemical properties shared with other members of the group. They behave in unique fashion with their extreme stability shown towards their structure formation and extreme resistance shown towards other chemicals and heat. However, when their stable structures are disturbed physically like drilling or creating holes, they intend to release dust like particles which contain fiber like materials. These fiber like materials are too dangerous as they are ingested or inhaled in most cases. Unless they are disturbed, they may not release them.

Inhalation based complications

Certain health complications that are related to asbestos exposure by inhaling their fibers include the following: Cancer development in lung, mesothelioma and most common one is asbestosis. When these fibers are inhaled, nasal cavities hold small hairs lined up with mucous membrane. This sticky membrane can hold these fibers as they get stuck with them. Then physically you can easily remove them from nasal openings. However, by chance if they reach out to lungs then only all health complications related to functioning of lungs (respiratory troubles) would have started.

Cancer is yet another term that has been used widely among all groups of people. When such harmful fibers enter into lungs, they get deposited into inner tissues of lungs blocking easy and regular mechanism of breathing. Asbestos fibers have tendency to induce cancer development in lungs. Therefore, when breathing becomes challenged ultimately that may lead to life threats. When asbestos exposure itself is such dangerous thing, just imagine what happens if those who get exposed to asbestos fibers and they are chain smokers, their lifespan gets drastically reduced.

Almost the same condition happens with mesothelioma where cancer is not just developed within lungs but also within inner lining of abdomen, chest region along with lungs. Asbestosis is actually not related to cancer but they cause serious respiratory troubles. Indirectly by troubling proper functioning of hearts leading to cardiac arrests, asbestosis also can pose threats to individual’s life. Still all these are not just commonly observed. Severity of complications are determined by how much of asbestos fibers have entered into human system and how long they are exposed to asbestos; whether you have habit of smoking which may aggravate the situation; age of individuals who get exposed, etc.

Is there a way to avoid exposure?

Well, as old saying “where there is a will, there is a way”. If you are really concerned with how to avoid asbestos exposure, its so simple NEVER ever try to disturb asbestos containing products. Do not drill, cut, damage or break any of asbestos containing products. Always check for labels of products before you place purchase order to check for the presence of asbestos in them. You can always avoid asbestos containing products. However, if its unavoidable then be cautious about not to disturb them.

How to remove asbestos?

Most important part of discussion is how to remove asbestos fibers if they are released. Do not try to remove them by yourself. There are trained and skilled professionals who are aware of asbestos and its properties well. It’s always good to call them to remove all released asbestos dusts. Once you get to know that there is some damage of products that contain asbestos, just leave everything as such and make a call to these asbestos removal professionals to remove them. As they are trained, they know how to remove them without getting inhaled or ingested.

Conclusion

Though we don’t have control over everything, it’s always good to be in safer and precautionary ways. Preventing anything bad is always good rather than curing bad things that had happened. So, be happy with asbestos containing products but don’t disturb them ever. If you disturb them you will then be disturbed with medical treatments.

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