In the 19th and 20th centuries, asbestos was used as an insulator in construction materials and household products.
The mineral’s natural properties of heat resistance and overall durability make it an excellent material for the construction and manufacturing industries. However, this mineral is also easily friable, meaning that it can crumble into microscopic fibers. These fibers can then become airborne and be inhaled or otherwise ingested. Once inside the body, the properties that make this material a success for industry have significant health consequences for people.
Exposure to asbestos can result in a cancer that forms in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart, better known as mesothelioma cancer, which is rare and highly aggressive. The microscopic asbestos fibers are unable to be broken down by the human body, and therefore can cause scar tissue in whatever area they are embedded. Mesothelioma is diagnosed in only about 3,000 people per year, but most are given less than two years to live and have very limited treatment options. Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases such as lung cancer and asbestosis are completely preventable illnesses, which makes raising awareness all the more important.
Asbestos exposure was primarily considered a threat of decades past, but the material is not banned in the United States. Additionally, in March of this year, the CDC released a report that stated modern day exposure is most likely to occur during the maintenance or renovation of older structures that contain asbestos. The most dangerous form of this material today is what was left behind from before modern regulations were enacted. Many people are unaware of the degree to which asbestos was used and where it can still be found today, which increases their risks of accidental exposure.
There are various ways to avoid and minimize your exposure to asbestos including:
- Understanding and learning which areas in your home may contain asbestos (commonly attics and garages, and asbestos can also be found throughout homes built before the 1980s)
- Avoiding handling, cutting, damaging and touching any materials with asbestos
- Contacting a professional to test, consult, and help mitigate asbestos in your home or property.
Companies like EBI Consulting, a national environmental due diligence provider, can help you test and detect asbestos in your home or facility through a variety of Asbestos services. With over 450 employees staffed throughout the United States, EBI Consulting specializes in offering Asbestos inspectors, asbestos abatement supervisors, asbestos management planners, asbestos project monitors, and asbestos project designers to help you with your needs.
The effects of exposure to asbestos can be life altering and it is important to understand how it can affect you and how best to avoid exposure. If you would like more information about how asbestos exposure can affect you, please contact the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center and contact EBI Consulting for any Asbestos related questions and concerns.