Have you ever wondered what asbestos really is? Where does it come from? Do people really get sick from it? How do you get exposed to asbestos? How can I protect myself and my family?
EPA says “asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring, fibrous silicate minerals mined for their useful properties such as thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. Asbestos is commonly used as an acoustic insulator, and in thermal insulation, fire proofing and other building materials. Many products in use today contain asbestos.” I honestly didn’t realize until this summer that asbestos came from nature; it actually comes from rocks buried under the ground. So if asbestos is natural how can it be so bad?
It’s only when the asbestos fibers in the rocks become disturbed and airborne that it can become inhaled and cause health problems. Since asbestos is typically used in building products it can be disturbed with any kind of remodeling or demolition. Fortunately most asbestos containing materials were banned in 1989. Unfortunately the ban was partially repealed in 1991. So we’re not protected as much as we should be.
And yes, asbestos can cause serious health concerns. When the asbestos becomes airborne it can easily be inhaled thus causing cancerous tumors known as mesothelioma. The highest risk is for those people who work around asbestos containing materials everyday or those people present during construction/demolition of buildings containing asbestos. Since it remains airborne it may be present for a period of time.
To learn more about asbestos, mesothelioma and what you can do to protect yourself visit the following sites.