Asbestos – Is it dangerous?
The quick answer is as to whether asbestos is dangerous or not is…sometimes. Asbestos in products that are sealed are not dangerous, However, if the asbestos is disturbed, that is another story.
First, what is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral mined worldwide. It was widely used in products in the 1800s and 1900s. The danger of asbestos steadily gained notoriety as court cases and legislation drew the public’s attention to the issue in the mid-1900s.
What products contain asbestos?
Asbestos has been used for thermal insulation both in rail cars and in shipyards on steam engines. Other items containing asbestos include building materials. These include roofing; pipes; pipe insulation; drywall and joint compounds; flooring; tiles; fire-resistant coatings; concrete; bricks; fireplace cement; acid-, heat- and fire-resistant gaskets; and ceiling insulation. Although still used in some manufactured items today, the US has banned the use of asbestos in manufacturing in many cases. In particular, the focus of the ban has been on consumer products. Still, you’ll find it in houses, schools, older buildings and workplaces.
When is asbestos dangerous?
If asbestos is intact in products such as a tile floor, there is usually no risk of exposure. However, when disturbed during renovation or if peeling, asbestos fibers may become suspended in the air for many days, often unknowingly exposing individuals nearby. The released fibers are generally not visible to the human eye. Plus, asbestos particles can travel through ventilation systems. This is why professional asbestos removal is recommended.
Is prolonged exposure to asbestos dangerous?
Yes! Prolonged inhalation of disturbed asbestos fibers is known to cause serious illness, including death. Those who have worked in shipyards, old railcars, and the manufacture of materials containing asbestos are subject to such conditions. Lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and death may result from prolonged exposure.
Get rid of asbestos safely.
To remove and-or contain asbestos, a professional company certified and trained in asbestos remediation is required. Learn more about asbestos services on our website. For asbestos removal, call ACM Removal at 316.684.1800 or contact us online.