In the “Asbestos Handbook for Remodeling” an excellent description of asbestos and the dangers that it may pose to you and your family are outlined.
Read all about how to deal with this substance below.
Asbestos-related diseases are caused by asbestos fibers that detach themselves from asbestos-containing products, become airborne, and are inhaled or ingested. Asbestos fibers are microscopic in size, are not visible to the naked eye, and pass easily through the standard household vacuum cleaner. The fibers are no larger than the particles that make up cigarette smoke. Most fibers range from 0.03 to 0.10 micron in length (a micron is one one-thousandth [1/1,000] of a millimeter). Figure 2 compares the length of asbestos fibers with those of particles of fine sand, fog, and bacteria. Figure 3 compares the diameter of asbestos fibers with those of human hair and glass fibers.
Asbestos fibers can remain airborne for hours and can easily be inhaled or ingested. When fibers settle on surfaces, they become airborne again from even the slightest air currents. Once lodged in the lung, stomach, or other body tissue, most asbestos fibers cannot be dissolved by body fluids. The discovery that inhalation or ingestion of airborne asbestos fibers can cause three types of disease whose consequences can be harmful or fatal prompted the decline in asbestos use.
- Lung Cancer Lung cancer has caused the largest number of deaths
among people exposed to asbestos-containing products. A strong connection exists between exposure to asbestos and smoking, with each factor compounding the risk of the other. Occupational studies suggest that exposure to asbestos increases the lung cancer rate in nonsmokers by a factor of about 5, whereas it increases the rate by a factor of about 50 among smokers exposed to asbestos.
- Asbestosis. Asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissues by asbestos
fibers, occurring among the most heavily exposed workers. There is no known effective treatment.
- Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lung and stomach
linings that is usually linked to asbestos and is nearly always fatal within two years of diagnosis.
These diseases initially appeared in persons who had worked directly in mining, milling, and manufacturing of asbestos and asbestos products and among workers handling friable ACM over long periods of time. Although asbestos-related diseases may not manifest themselves for a period of 10 to 40 years after exposure, the typical time lag is 15 to 20 years. In addition, because their longer life expectancy subjects them to a longer potential exposure, children are regarded as a higher-risk group. Thus far, most known cases of asbestos-related diseases have developed among persons who were subjected to heavy and prolonged exposures while working with asbestos. The extent of the health risks associated with current permissible exposure limits is.
The best way to deal with this incredibly hazardous substance is to hire a professional company to remove and dispose of all dangerious materials.