What are the dangers of asbestos?

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What are the dangers of asbestos?

Canada has banned the use and sale of asbestos, and there are good reasons behind it. Despite being extremely popular as a construction material in the past, asbestos comes with several negative impacts on health. In fact, if your home has asbestos components, such as an asbestos roof, it would be wise to have it removed. Professional companies should be able to help you out with professional services.

What risks does asbestos pose?

Exposure to environments with asbestos can prove to be extremely dangerous for your health. Asbestos is a material that consists of thin fibers put together and bonded. As the condition of asbestos deteriorates over time, the fibers start coming loose. Eventually, these particles become airborne and can easily make their way into the respiratory system. Some of the problems that you could develop upon inhaling these particles are:

  1. Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare type of cancer that usually does not occur among the general masses. However, it is more common among construction workers exposed to asbestos, or their family members. Individuals residing in homes with worn-out asbestos roofing may develop it too. The asbestos fibers affect the mesothelial cells that create the lining of the lung, abdominal and cardiac cavities. Mesothelioma is highly aggressive, and usually fatal in its malignant form.

  1. Asbestosis

As the name suggests, this disease specifically occurs due to asbestos exposure. The period of exposure necessary for this chronic lung disease to develop does vary from one individual to another. Asbestosis results in pulmonary fibrosis, i.e., the formation of a scar-like tissue in the lungs. This tissue reduces the elasticity of the lungs, making it hard to breathe. Symptoms of this condition include shortness of breath, chest pain, finger clubbing, decreased lung function, etc.

  1. Lung cancer

Long-term exposure to asbestos may also result in lung cancer. Even if you remain exposed to asbestos for a shorter period, it can significantly increase your chances of developing lung cancer later on. Asbestos exposure can also combine with other factors like smoking to hasten the process of developing lung cancer. The symptoms of lung cancer include weight loss, chronic cough, fever, chest pain, etc. However, a key issue here is that the symptoms do not appear until the cancer has already developed into a more severe stage.

  1. Pleural thickening

Another major impact of asbestos exposure is pleural thickening. The pleura is a thin layer of tissue that lines the interior wall of the chest cavity and covers the lungs. Asbestos fibers can cause this layer to thicken and swell up. As the condition worsens, it starts squeezing the lung. This results in symptoms like discomfort in the chest and difficulties in breathing. Pleural thickening usually occurs as a result of heavy exposure to asbestos particles.

How to protect yourself and your family from asbestos contamination?

Considering all the dangerous impacts of asbestos, you would definitely want to keep yourself and your family safe from this material. While it is illegal to use asbestos as a construction material anymore, many older buildings still contain asbestos roofing or insulation. In case you know or suspect that your home contains asbestos, you need to work on getting rid of this hazardous material as fast as possible. Here is how to go about it:

  • Get in touch with a reliable asbestos removal company near you.
  • Schedule an inspection.
  • Once the professionals have identified the asbestos, they would draw up a plan.
  • Let the team go ahead with the removal and decontamination.

Do make sure to hire the right company for the job, to ensure thorough and safe removal of asbestos. It is advisable to not try any DIY asbestos removal, as it would expose you to contamination.

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