Asbestos can pose a serious threat to you and your family’s health. Finding out the dangers of asbestos can help you make informed decisions when doing any type of home improvements. When in doubt, contact a professional at Utah Flood Cleanup for help in determining if you’re at risk for unsafe asbestos exposure. A contractor can help you make an informed decision on whether the building materials can be left alone or if removal is required.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to mineral fibers derived naturally from rocks and soil. Due to their flexibility and resistance to high temperatures, asbestos was frequently added to building materials for decades. Since asbestos acts as a good insulator, the fibers were frequently added to other materials in order to strengthen them.
Common products that contain asbestos include:
- floor tiles,
- wall insulation,
- attic insulation,
- automotive brakes,
- pipe blankets,
- exterior siding,
- and shingles.
Although asbestos was commonplace in construction materials, it wasn’t until years later that asbestos dangers were exposed. At this time, laws were put in place to reduce exposure to the hazardous material.
What Does Asbestos Look Like?
Answering the question about what does asbestos look like isn’t always easy. Asbestos can take on several different forms. Although you may see asbestos with the naked eye, usually lab testing is done to confirm the presence of asbestos.
The six main types of asbestos include the following:
- White asbestos- The most commonly used type. This form of asbestos could be located in roofing materials and brake pads.
- Brown asbestos- This type of asbestos was used as an insulator, particularly for piping and electrical work.
- Blue asbestos- This type of asbestos is very thin and could be found in spray-on insulating products.
- Actinolite- This material is very flexible and was added to concrete and fire-resistant clothing.
- Tremolite- This is a particularly strong type of asbestos used in the construction of fireproof clothing and paint.
- Anthophyllite- This is a very rare form of asbestos and is no longer used as an additive in talcum powders.
How Much Asbestos Exposure Is Dangerous?
No amount of asbestos is considered safe. Asbestos has been classified as a known carcinogen, according to the National Cancer Institute. If you work in an industry where you will be exposed to asbestos, federal law requires employers take certain precautions to protect workers from the hazardous material. Employee safety regarding asbestos is regulated by OSHA.
How dangerous is asbestos? The biggest danger posed by asbestos is that the material can be breathed in. As the fibers enter the lungs, the long-term effects can be devastating. Asbestos increases the risk of diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Smokers are at an even higher risk of developing these conditions since smoke irritates the lungs and makes it harder for the fibers to pass through.
Signs of these diseases related to asbestos may include:
- chest pain,
- coughing fits,
- and difficulty breathing.
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, you’ll want to make an appointment with your physician to undergo medical testing to rule out any long-term effects.
Contact Asbestos Removal Professionals at Utah Flood Cleanup Today
Never deal with asbestos on your own. Contact an asbestos abatement contractor at Utah Flood Cleanup in regards to asbestos removal. We can remove the materials and safely dispose of them. Our SLC, Utah asbestos removal professionals at Flood Cleanup professionals are experienced in asbestos inspection and removal services. Contact us today to learn about how we can help. Give us a call at 801-416-2666 today.