Asbestos FAQ

What Is Asbestos And Why Is It So Dangerous?

In the past few decades, a huge amount of effort has been applied to the job of getting rid of asbestos. Unfortunately, this has been happening for so long that there are some people who have no idea what asbestos is. It was put in years before they were born, and all they've ever heard is that it's bad.

Given this, it's no wonder some people think asbestos has been dealt with! This isn't true, of course. There are still many places that have an asbestos problem. So if you're uncertain what it is and why you should care, read on.

Asbestos As The Wonder Mineral

Many people know that Asbestos is a building material, but what they often don't know is that it's not man-made. It's a naturally occurring mineral. There are six types and are referred to by their color.

There's not much difference between the different types regarding function, though they do have different chemical compositions. What this means in a practical sense is that asbestos isn't created, but mined the same way as coal or metal ore.

Since humans have been mining asbestos for the past 4,000 years, no one considered the health issues. That's why the more immediate properties of asbestos had been well known for many years. In the 19th century, mining increased as cities began expanding. Asbestos was an amazing building insulation, and people wanted to use it.

The Properties Of Asbestos

Asbestos has some different properties that made it a natural building material. It's fire resistant, as well as sound absorbing. That alone would make it an amazing insulation, but it was also easy enough to work that it could be used for everyday purposes.

This is how many buildings came to have asbestos everywhere. People used asbestos for any insulation that needed protection from fire or sound. It was used to insulate electrical wiring, gas pipes, and even entire homes.

Then science began discovering the dangers.

The Dangers Of Asbestos

Because asbestos is fibrous, it can easily fray. This is much like a rope that has been pulled too tightly for too long. The strands simply begin to break off.

However, asbestos is light enough, and the breaks are microscopic enough, that people didn't realize it floated in the air. Unfortunately, asbestos does terrible things to the human lungs.

There are multiple illnesses that come from asbestos, such as lung cancer. That alone would be bad enough, but the fiber is abrasive enough to leave small cuts throughout the lungs.

Unfortunately, asbestos is still being mined and used in some parts of the world. In addition, there are some buildings that were built in such a way that the asbestos is impossible to remove. Due to this fact, it's still causing a number of health problems throughout the United States and the world.

Now that you know what asbestos is and understand how widespread it still is, you no doubt understand why it needs to be removed.


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