Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that has been used for decades in many different industries. Due to its prevalence in housing and building material, industrial work, and automotive work, many people have been exposed to asbestos throughout their lifetimes. This is especially true for people who worked in these industries before asbestos was banned. However, there are still ways in which people can come into contact with this deadly mineral. We all know that asbestos is considered dangerous, but why exactly is that? What is different about this ordinary mineral that makes it cause so much damage in a person’s body?
For starters, the asbestos mineral is extremely friable, meaning that it can easily break apart into little pieces and go into the air. These fibers are extremely dangerous, as they cause deadly health problems, but you cannot detect when they’re in the air. When asbestos is in the air, you will not be able to feel that you are breathing them in, due to their tiny microscopic size.
No amount of asbestos has been deemed safe for inhalation. Even a small amount can lead to the contraction of mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer, later in life. However, the more asbestos that you breath in, the more likely you are to contract an asbestos related disease. This is why people who work in industries such as demolition and construction have a much greater chance of contracting an asbestos related disease. These workers can regularly come into contact with old asbestos, breathing the fibers in and raising their chances for contracting a disease.
When asbestos is breathed in, the damage does not take effect until much later in life. The latency period for asbestos related disease is considered to be between 10 and 40 years, meaning that most people contract these asbestos related diseases in their old age.
Due to the dangerous nature of asbestos, it’s important to make sure you are not mishandling any that you may come across. In order to avoid any of the negative health effects that occur when around asbestos, make sure to contact an asbestos abatement team if you ever come into contact with the deadly mineral.