Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust

Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust

Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust

Are you aware of these Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust? Let’s know: Asbestos is a group of six silicate minerals found in nature composed of small, microscopic fibers.

Although asbestos is found freely, it is only detectable in the air at low levels, and while most people are exposed to it, this level is not high enough to cause disease.

Since individual asbestos fibers are microscopic, they cannot be seen with the naked eye. They emerge sharp with a needle-like appearance, but color and shape vary from fiber to fiber depending on the asbestos type and mineral content.

Types of Asbestos

Asbestos comes in two general classifications, namely, amphibious and serpentine. The latter is known to have long, flexible, and curly fibers, while amphibole is generally hard, straight, short, and needle-like.

Asbestos comes in six types

Amosite, Actinolite, Anthophyllite, Tremolite, Crocidolite, and Chrysotile. The first five types of Asbestos are classified as amphibians. Chrysotile is the only Asbestos type tagged as serpentine.

Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust

Use of Asbestos

Asbestos is versatile because it can withstand decay, heat, and corrosion. It is also capable of resisting water and fire. For this reason, Asbestos was used extensively in various building constructions as insulation material and as a fire retardant.

Asbestos has also been used in various manufactured goods, including roofing shingles, cement, and ceiling and floor tiles. Friction-based products such as automobile brakes, clutch, and transmission parts have also used this mineral.

The peak in the use of asbestos came in the late 1900s when it was used primarily for insulation, roofing, flooring, and fireproofing. However, in 1979, its use became regulated due to the health hazards of asbestos, forcing manufacturers to look for alternatives.

Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust

Asbestos and your home

Many residential homes today still contain asbestos, usually in their ceilings, walls, and ceilings, although they are not entirely made of versatile mineral.

Specifically, homes built before 1987 and up to 1990 are most likely to contain asbestos-containing materials. However, after 1990, asbestos-containing materials are no longer used for the construction of residential homes due to the severe asbestos symptoms.

Asbestos and building

Asbestos became a very popular building material in the 1970s and was used in practically everything from brake pads to skyscraper floors.

Any building constructed before the 1970s is likely to have asbestos as one of its primary materials, and offices built during the first half of the century.

Asbestos and fire

Left alone, asbestos is generally considered safe, but when disturbed due to activities such as demolition work and home repairs, asbestos-containing materials can release asbestos dust into the air.

Fires are particularly dangerous, especially if they are associated with older installations. Pieces of asbestos-containing material (ACM), often visible during fires, can be covered by smoke plumes and carried to nearby properties, gardens, and roads.

However, most asbestos is contained in ACM, so it poses little risk to public health. Nevertheless, if the ACM ruptures, there is a possibility that the fibers will be released into the air.

Why is asbestos bad?

During and immediately after a fire, asbestos usually becomes airborne as it is often carried away by the surrounding smoke.

At this point, it may be difficult to avoid inhaling the tiny fibers of this mineral. Repeated inhalation can cause permanent damage to the body’s cells that become inflamed over time. And gives rise to various cases of cancer.

Meanwhile, your chances of contracting asbestos-related diseases are higher if you breathe in asbestos dust over a long period.

Some of these are fatal, notably lung cancer and mesothelioma, while others are not. These include pleural plaques and Asbestos.

  • Pulmonary disease

The pleural disease comes in two types, which are noncancerous but affect the pleura’s outer lining (lungs). The first is pleural plaques which are small scarred areas that have thickened around the pleura.

These can occur on one or both sides of the lungs and are usually about the size of a coin. Over time, they become harder and calcified. They are not actual symptoms but serve as indicators of asbestos exposure risk.

Pleural thickening, meanwhile, tends to be more serious. These are patches that can affect both the pleura and the outer layers. They can cause restriction of the lungs, preventing the organ from expanding properly and resulting in breathlessness.

  1. Lung cancer

According to Cancer Research UK, lung cancer was the third most common type of cancer in Great Britain in 2014. The usual cause is smoking, but studies have shown that more than 10 percent of people living with lung cancer are non-smokers.

In any case, the danger of asbestos here is that exposure to the mineral can increase your chances of developing lung cancer, even if you don’t smoke.

Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust

  1. Asbestosis

Asbestosis refers to a condition where the lungs become scarred. It is often caused by inhaling asbestos, although the disease is considered noncancerous or benign.

Still, the body’s response to asbestos inhalation varies, so damage to the delicate air sacs in the lungs is possible, making it more difficult for the organ to oxygenate the bloodstream, resulting in breathlessness.

If left untreated, asbestosis damage to the lungs can be irreversible. This can lead to more serious problems, especially lung cancer, a common asbestos hazard.

  • Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma refers to cancer of the lining of the lungs and, less often, the abdomen (also known as peritoneal or peritoneal). This deadly cancer type is one of the major health effects of asbestos exposure. (Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust)

In the UK, around 2,500 cases of mesothelioma are reported annually, with numbers expected to rise over the next few years.

Although treatment options for mesothelioma have been limited in the past, the good news is that recent medical advances show promising results in addressing patient cures and survival.

Soon we will come with more posts about Asbestos Dust, asbestos dust can cause, asbestos dust cleanup, asbestos dust in house, asbestos in settled dust, cleaning asbestos dust, Health Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust, inhaling popcorn ceiling dust, Risks of Exposure to Asbestos Dust, symptoms of inhaling asbestos dust

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