Asbestos is a group of minerals that have thin microscopic fibers. The minerals have been used extensively for decades in automotive, construction and other industries because they are resistant to heat, chemicals, do not conduct electricity and fire. Before the 1990s, asbestos was used as a way of insulating buildings and homes against the cold weather and to prevent noise from outside from disturbing home owners. Although now asbestos is no longer used in construction because of its harmful health effects on those who inhale it, some companies still continue to use it. If your home was built before the 1990s, then there are chances that it was made of materials containing asbestos. It can be used in products like:
- Cement and plaster
- Building insulation
- Floor and ceiling tiles
- Car truck brake pads
- Vehicle transmission components like the clutches
How you can be exposed to asbestos
If you have materials that contain asbestos you can be exposed to it mostly when the home is being renovated or demolished. Small fibers of the chemical can be released into the air. When you breathe in the small fibers that have been released into the air, then they become trapped in your lungs. Their effects may not be seen immediately, in fact, it may take years for anyone to notice the effects as the fibers will be trapped in the lungs and could stay there for years.
Its health effects
Asbestosis- this is an inflammatory disease that is responsible for shortness of breath, coughing and if not treated or if the inhalation of asbestos fiber continues, the scarring of lungs, which make it hard to breathe.
Pleural plaques- this causes changes in the membranes that surround the lungs such as thickening of the lung membranes
Pleural effusions- This is the abnormal collection of fluids either between the lungs or the inside walls of the chest cavity.
Asbestos lung cancer is among the rarest types of lung cancers. Even when this fact is true, asbestos is the most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. There are more than 4800 deaths each year that come from asbestos cancer. This number represents 4% of the total fatalities in the US that are connected to cancer of the lungs. Most of the deaths are as a result of smoking.
With time, the mesothelial cells have damage in their DNA and thus a cancer develops. While lung cancers can be caused by a number of things including exposure to radon and smoking cigarettes, mesothelioma cancer is mostly caused by exposure to asbestos. People who smoke and have been or are exposed to asbestos are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer than people who are just smokers. Following exposure, your lifestyle, poor dietary choices and high stress levels are all factors that affect the risk of developing cancer.
It is therefore critical for you to hire Asbestos removal company Ryde, Hornsby, Penrith & Blacktown to help you keep diseases at bay and ensure your home looks great.