In its natural form, asbestos is known to be a non-toxic, harmless material. Many years ago, asbestos was used as insulation for homes and buildings, and in manufacturing plants and shipyards around the country. Asbestos is usually found in a form of bundles or fibers that are heat, fire, and chemical resistant. After many years of research, doctors and scientists conclude that the adverse reactions to the inhalation of asbestos fibers are life-threatening. The delayed effect to asbestos-related cancer symptoms causes diagnosis and mesothelioma treatment to be almost impossible.
Exposure to asbestos does not create health problems right away. In fact, those who were exposed to asbestos for a brief time may not even experience the negative side effects. It is those who have worked or used asbestos in their everyday jobs for many years that seem to be affected the most. It is important to remember that there are no safe amounts of asbestos that a person can be exposed to. The most direct way of contracting asbestos illnesses is through the fiber inhalation. When asbestos is dry, its fibers are able to circulate through the air and become inhaled by anyone in the contaminated area. Once inhaled by the nose or mouth, the fibers travel inside the person's body to the lung cavities and become lodged within the crevices. This causes scar tissue, and in time, a lung-related illness may form.
It has been confirmed through research that if asbestos affected materialis completely penetrated by water, airborne exposure is minimal. When the fibers are wet, they drop to the floor for an easier and safer form of removal. There are certainly proper precautions that a person or business must take when removing asbestos, but by wetting the material they are safeguarding themselves from becoming exposed to the fibers that have become airborne. If a piece of material, such as floor tile, contains asbestos and is undisturbed or undamaged, the chances of the asbestos getting released into the air are slim. However, if the tile must be removed, or if it is causing danger in other ways, it is important for the asbestos to be completely wet down in order to ensure that fibers will not be released. This, however, is not always a guarantee. If a person knows that asbestos has become airborne, proper measures must be taken so that the area is sealed off and tested. Check with federal and state regulations and requirements for the proper removal of asbestos.
Last modified: December 28, 2010.