Many people have a question in there mind: what is asbestos? Asbestos is the common name used for fibrous silicate minerals. These minerals are heat resistant, have superb tensile power and have great electrical resistance. Because of these properties asbestos is also used in electrical and thermal insulation and is also used in building materials.
There are numerous kinds of asbestos; the known ones are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. There are two main sets of asbestos – the amphibole, contains blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos and serpentine, has white asbestos (chrysotile). All types of asbestos are categorized as human carcinogens (cancer) and exposure can be a source of asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Few of these health problems are:
Asbestosis: It is a lung disease initially seen in naval shipyard employees. As asbestos fibers are inhaled, they might get trapped in the lung tissue. The body attempts to dissolve the fibers via creating an acid. This acid, because of the chemical resistance of the fiber, makes little to harm the fiber, but might scar the nearby tissue. Finally, this scarring might become so severe that the lungs might not work properly. The time that the disease is developed is often 25 to 40 years.
Mesothelioma: It is a cancer of external lining of the lung or the lining of the abdominal wall. This type of cancer is strange because the only identified reason is asbestos exposure. The time that this disease will take to develop fully is between 15 to 30 years.
Lung Cancer: This disease is also caused by asbestos. The causes of lung cancer are mostly increased because of smoking. Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract might also be due to asbestos. The time that this cancer will take to develop fully is between 15 to 30 years.
Asbestos becomes a health risk when these fibers are floated in air and are then inhaled. Contact with asbestos fibers might lead to asbestosis lung cancer. The health risk enhanced when the fibers inhaled are increased. The disease linked with asbestos is characterized by long latency periods (time the disease will fully developed). It might take 40 years between first exposure and the beginning of the disease.
These diseases normally happen when people are ignorant about the risks of working with items having asbestos. It is necessary when dealing with asbestos there must be least amount of dust containing asbestos.