Asbestos is a natural mineral that can be harmful if you’re exposed to it. It’s a fibrous mineral that comes in different forms and is often found in various construction materials. The most common form is chrysotile, which has white or blue fibers. It’s also used in paint, plumbing, and sealants.
When you’re exposed to asbestos, it enters your air passages. While most of the fibers are removed by the body’s natural defenses, some may lodge deep in the lungs and remain there for years. In some cases, these fibers will never be removed from your body, so it’s important to prevent asbestos from entering your lungs.
Because of its unique chemical and physical properties, asbestos is very difficult to break down. It has a high heat and electricity resistance, and its fibers are very flexible. Asbestos has been used in many industries, including construction, oil and gas, and building materials. Homeowners and DIYers have also been exposed to asbestos through various construction materials and household products. Even children’s toys have been found containing asbestos.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to lung diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer. The asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs, irritating tissue and making breathing difficult. Asbestosis symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can take years to appear. Smokers are especially vulnerable to the disease, because cigarette smoke irritates lung passages and makes it difficult to expel the fibers.
Asbestos is common in older buildings that were constructed before the year 2000. This mineral was used in a variety of construction materials, including cement pipe, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and more. It was also used in heating systems, boilers, and brake linings. Asbestos-containing products have been banned in the European Union since 2005.
Some healthcare providers offer Medicare coverage for patients suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. Others may qualify for compensation from workers’ compensation programs. The Federal Employees Compensation Program, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Program, and State Workers Compensation Programs cover medical bills for those who were exposed to asbestos during their employment. In addition, some people may be eligible for care at VA medical centers.
Asbestos samples should be tested for presence before any repair work. Asbestos repair materials are specially made to seal off damaged areas and prevent asbestos fibers from spreading. These products can be purchased at specialty stores. Removal of asbestos is the most costly method and should be the last option in most cases. This material can be difficult to remove, so be sure to use protective equipment while performing the removal.
The risks associated with asbestos are not well-known by the general public but construction workers NEED to be aware of them. Asbestos is found in many consumer products, including building materials. However, it can be dangerous if inhaled, even if you’re exposed to a small amount. However, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos for a long time, the risk is much higher.