Know the Relationship Between Asbestos and your Health
Asbestos was commonly used in the construction industry up until the 1970s, when it was discovered that the tiny slivers of asbestos fibres can cause serious disease if inhaled. There are many reasons why asbestos was the preferred material in construction, as it had amazing insulation properties and sound absorption, and was often mixed with cement to produce pressed sheeting that was ideal for room partitions. Today its use is strictly controlled, and there is a massive industry that is saddled with the responsibility of safely removing asbestos whenever it is found in a building.
This disease is caused by repeatedly breathing in minute asbestos fibres, which cause fibrosis of the lungs, and can lead to lung cancer. Many people who worked in the asbestos industry have filed claims for compensation, and it was this that brought the dangers of asbestos to light. If you are living in Australia, and you fear you might have some asbestos in your home, SERS provide asbestos testing services, and they are qualified to remove any harmful asbestos.
A type of cancer that develops on the thin film of tissue in the lungs and chest walls, mesothelioma is typically brought on by the inhalation of asbestos, with many employees in the manufacturing and construction industry contracting the disease after years of working unprotected with asbestos. It can be as long as forty years after the asbestos exposure until the cancer becomes active, and treatment could consist of surgery, or chemotherapy. Even washing the clothes of someone with mesothelioma is risky, as the disease can easily spread. If you think you might have been exposed to this, talk to an environmental consultant, who will quickly ascertain the risks.
One of the reasons why so many people were affected by contact with asbestos was that it was heavily used for several decades before it was realised how harmful the substance is. This long period of ignorance meant that people were exposed to the fibres in an ongoing way, and even today, there are new cases coming in front of civil courts, where people are claiming compensation for working many years in a dangerous environment.
In America and most of Europe, the 1990s saw thousands of claims from employees who were subjected to long term exposure, and it is said to be one of the most expensive discoveries ever. Today, there are still buildings that contain asbestos, and there are specialist companies that can detect and remove asbestos safely. If your home was built before 1940, it is possible that asbestos was used in the construction, and to be safe, you should arrange for a consultant to test. In the event asbestos is found, the company will take the necessary steps to safely remove it.
The risks of asbestos inhalation are real, especially if it is brittle and breaks up in the atmosphere. The minute slivers of fibre are invisible to the naked eye, and once inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs, and this could be the start of a serious disease.