Asbestos is a mineral that is naturally found in rocks and soil but has the appearance of cloth, with soft-looking fibres. It was found to be very useful in the world of construction in mixing with other materials and creating commercial products that helped fireproof buildings, aid in the insulation of heat and sound and was even water-resistant.
However, when the 1970s came along, all that celebration of this wonder material was stopped dead as it was discovered that exposure to asbestos cause irreparable lung damage and contributed to life-debilitating diseases.
Properties of Asbestos
- It is the fibres of the asbestos that make it look like cloth but can become part of fine dust and when breathed in, cause irritation to the lung and lung tissue.
- Asbestos fibres are so strong that they cannot be broken down by the human body, so whilst the fibres remain in our body, the irritation causes inflammation and scarring.
- This scar tissue calcifies over time into a hard plaque-like substance which in turn causes further scarring and irritation as we try to breathe.
Hazards of Asbestos
- Asbestos-related diseases include asbestosis, which is when the lung tissue becomes scarred.
- Lung cancer and Mesothelioma are cancers of the lungs and tissues around the lungs which can be partially treated with chemotherapy and surgery.
- Thickening of the tissues around the lungs contributes to pleural effusion and plaques, which is a hard substance that forms around the lungs and diaphragm.
- Oxygen therapy is a type of procedure offered if you have shortness of breath r low oxygen levels in your blood.
- However, for asbestos-related lung diseases, you will ultimately require lifelong care as there is no cure.
- As well as oxygen therapy this could include regular x-rays and CT scans of the chest, and pulmonary function tests.
- Smokers will be given the support they need to quit smoking as this increases the risk of lung cancer when combined with asbestos greater than without.
If you believe your business is at risk of asbestos contamination, it’s crucial to hire a professional asbestos removal company to ensure safe and correct disposal.