Despite no longer being used in construction, there are many buildings and structures which still contain asbestos.
Providing the asbestos remains intact and undamaged, there’s no potential to cause health risks from exposure.
However, if the asbestos starts to break down or is damaged, it can present a very real danger to anyone who is present to breathe in the minuscule fibres.
But what exactly are the risks associated with exposure to asbestos? Here are the facts.
When Does Asbestos Become a Problem?
Asbestos was hailed as a wonder material and was used in a number of ways including fireproofing, absorbing sound, insulation and strengthening. Because of this, it can be found in all kinds of structures within the home. You may not be aware that you have asbestos in your home unless you decide to carry out some improvements or refurbishment.
If the asbestos remains undamaged and in situ, it can be left without presenting any kind of danger. However, as soon as the asbestos becomes disturbed it will begin to release tiny particles into the air which are breathed in and reach the lungs.
How Soon Will I Know If I’ve Been Affected?
One of the biggest problems with asbestos is that it doesn’t cause a health issue immediately. Instead, the tiny fibres become trapped deep within the lungs and over time this causes scarring, inflammation and other breathing difficulties.
This means that if you are exposed to asbestos you won’t become ill immediately, but over a period of many years, damage can occur.
However, it’s worth emphasizing that most cases of disease related to asbestos exposure arises from repeated instances or a substantial amount of contact.
What Can Happen As A Result?
The biggest problem with asbestos is that it is a known carcinogen; this means that it is a substance which causes cancer in the human body.
Because the fibres lodge in the respiratory system, lung cancer is one of the most common conditions associated with asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of lung cancer but it is the type which most often occurs as a result of exposure.
Malignancy is not the only health issue which can arise following asbestos exposure.
Asbestosis is a condition which causes inflammation, leading to breathlessness, coughing and permanent damage to the lungs and can arise due to asbestos exposure. Thickening of the membranes surrounding the lungs, pleural plaques and abnormal collections of fluid between the lung tissue and in the chest wall cavity can also occur.
Some of the conditions are life limiting while others cause severe disability and impair quality of life.
Always Use Professionals
The potential dangers involved with exposure to asbestos are very real and simply not worth the risk. If you have asbestos, use the services of professionals in order to make sure it’s removed safely without putting your health in danger.