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 fibers in its natural form.
Asbestos is mined all over the world. These are the fibers as found in its natural form.

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.

A specially trained worker wears protective clothing while clearing the asbestos.
A specially trained worker wears protective clothing while clearing the asbestos.

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.

3 Comments

  • by
    Sally Jones
    Posted March 5, 2018 10:47 am 0Likes

    Great post. Thank you. I had asbestos in my house, and you remediated it. Curious, what kind of vacuum did you use? My cousin wants to clean some old tile up and was wondering if her regular vacuum will work?

    • by
      Paul Ryan
      Posted March 14, 2018 6:13 am 0Likes

      Your regular vacuum will not work. It will likely exhaust asbestos fibers back into the air. A HEPA filtered vacuum specifically designed to capture the very small asbestos fibers should be used.

  • by
    Thomas William
    Posted May 29, 2018 12:56 am 0Likes

    It is surely to be noted that asbestos remediation should be done under complete supervision and assistance as it can be a health hazard if carelessly handled. Thanks for sharing!

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