Asbestos was the new sensation during the twentieth century as its insulation and fire deterrent capabilities were discovered. In some parts of the world such as China and India, it is still being used. Today more than fifty countries globally have banned this material. Nevertheless, it still allowed for some uses. So how should one go about finding if they find it within their home?
Should asbestos at your home be a cause for alarm?
Asbestos within your home
A common place to find asbestos in most homes is in the duct systems. If you notice some white tape above, usually it is comprised of asbestos. This is common in the older homes still operating with rigid metal ducts. During its installation, the tape provided a thick insulation material for the home boilers and ducts. Other likely places to discover asbestos are the floor tiles, attic and wall insulations, embers and artificial ashes around fireplaces, ceiling tiles, roofing and siding and textured paints.
What are the health hazards derived from asbestos?
The three main conditions brought about by the substance are mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Any of this conditions can be triggered when asbestos fibers find their way into your lungs through inhalation. Once embedded in your lung tissue, they cause inflammation that brings about tumors.
Asbestosis results in serious inflammation which bring about the difficulty in breathing, violent coughs, and other health-related maladies. Mesothelioma is a special type of cancer that infects the protective membrane surrounding your lungs. Lung cancer too can be triggered by asbestos. According to data from the World Health Organization, exposure to asbestos kills hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. Many more pass away from asbestos-related illnesses.
Risks brought about by asbestos
People residing in homes constructed 2 to 3 decades ago are highly likely to come across asbestos if they search their house. However, this is no cause for alarm. The people affected by asbestos are the miners, millers or transportation workers.
People who reside near the mills and mines are within infection range too. It also affects construction workers in shipyards, mechanical shops, etc. The families of those who work in asbestos areas can contract it through the interaction with the fibers carried in the hair or clothes. The gestation period for the symptoms of asbestos to unravel is roughly 10 to 40 years.
All people residing in urban or semi-urban areas are exposed to asbestos at some point as they go about their lives. It is present in the water, air, and soil, so interacting with it is inevitable. Note that those who become ill from it are those who are exposed to it regularly during their work or through contact in the areas they spend the most time around.