Invisible asbestos fibers can lurk in your homes
Living with asbestos may seem like an issue from a bygone era. The truth of the matter is that asbestos hazards may be a part of your daily living conditions. Asbestos use is regulated in the United States, but it is not banned.
There are two ways that asbestos puts your health in danger. One way is when someone is continually exposed to asbestos over a long period of time. Another way is when an individual has suddenly come into contact with large amounts of it in a workplace. Because asbestos builds up and does not naturally leave the body, each exposure accumulates on top of the other, causing serious damage to your health.
Asbestos is commonly discovered in older structures or older building materials: ceiling insulation, stove or pipe insulation, drywall joint patching compounds, furnaces and duct work, floor tiles, and roofing materials. Homes and apartments undergoing heavy repairs, remodeling, or construction can uncover asbestos lurking behind the walls and ceiling.
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What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of minerals created to form heat-resistant fibers. It was actually used in several different consumer products before the real health risks were discovered in 1970. Now it is most often used in the construction industry because it is stronger than steel, its non-flammable properties, and its resistance to heat and electricity.
The problem is that these asbestos fibers are easily airborne and then inhaled into the lungs. Harmful exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma – a type of cancer. Even though it is a known carcinogen, it is still not banned in approximately 70% of the planet. The WHO (World health Organization) reports that more than 100,000 people die worldwide every year due to asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer, lung scarring, and mesothelioma.
What are the signs of asbestos-related exposure?
Latent symptoms of asbestos may not show up until decades after the exposure. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, please contact your physician immediately.
It is very difficult to see asbestos fibers with the plain eye. California laws mandates that only licensed professionals with specialized equipment can detect and report a presence of asbestos within the property. If asbestos is detected through these means, a sample will be sent to a laboratory to determine the type and concentration of asbestos. From there, there will be an assessment of whether there is a public health threat or not.