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What is Asbestos and How Dangerous is It?

Before 20 years ago, most people had never heard of Asbestos. However, the dangers of Asbestos were well-publicized in the mid 1980s. You can see for more information.

Asbestos can be found naturally in the form of fibrous crystals. Asbestos’s toxicity is due to the harmful effects they cause when they are inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos inhaled can cause serious diseases such as lung cancer or pneumoconiosis.

Asbestos can be used for many purposes. Asbestos is known as the miracle mineral, which the Greeks called Asbestos because of its flexibility and ability to withstand high heat. Asbestos was used most often in construction. However, the material’s versatility and heat resistance meant it was an ideal electrical insulation for wires. Asbestos was used extensively by the middle 20th century. These products included roof tiles and flooring, pipe insulation, ceiling insulation as well lawn furniture and cement for fire pits.

Unfortunately, Asbestos’s true dangers were only discovered recently. This is because a large percentage of buildings built between the 1800s and 1900s already had significant asbestos in their roofs and walls. Before Asbestos’s toxicity was discovered, it was considered an ideal material for building. It was extremely fire resistant, high in electricity resistance, and most importantly, it was cheap and easy to use.

The asbestos-rich construction industry, including roofers and carpenters, has caused lung disease in past generations. Because asbestos fibers can become airborne, they are dangerous and can be inhaled. Because of the size of the fibres, they cannot be expelled once inhaled. Therefore, they remain in the lungs.