May 30 2017
What is it?
Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals which occur in the environment naturally. They are bundles of fibers which can be separated into thin and durable threads. Because these fibers are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity- they have been used widely in many industries.
Prohibition of Asbestos
Throughout the 20th century in America and Europe, many schools, homes, and public buildings were built using materials that included asbestos. Though concerns were raised in the 1940s about the dangers of asbestos use, it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that the U.S. government began to heed those warnings. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they lodge in the lungs, and they can cause a condition known as asbestosis. There is no treatment for asbestosis, and it causes scarring and an increased risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. In 1989, the EPA banned the production of most products that incorporate asbestos.
The majority of people are exposed to asbestos at one point in their lives. Such as in their workplace, communities, or even their homes. There are low levels of asbestos present in the air, water, and soil. However, most people don’t become sick from the exposure. The people that do become ill are those who are exposed to it on a regular basis. For instance, if one has a job where they work directly with it or through extensive environmental contact.
If there are products that contain asbestos and the asbestos is disturbed, these tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and can cause scarring and inflammation-which can lead to serious health problems.