The Most Common Residential Asbestos Dangers
Are you familiar with the dangers of residential asbestos? This silicate mineral presents an invisible threat to homeowners whose houses are built with asbestos-containing materials. It becomes hazardous once these materials get disturbed or deteriorated, hence polluting the air in the form of toxic fibers.
These particles can be neither seen nor tasted due to their minuscule size, causing no symptoms during direct exposure. Nevertheless, the health effects of long-term exposure can be detrimental to individuals, most of which are cancerous.
Take a look at the most common residential asbestos dangers, the risk factors, and potential health effects of being exposed to its toxic nature.
Possible exposure scenarios
Virtually every home is built with products that contain a particular amount of asbestos, especially the ones built between 1930 and 1950 when it was commonly used as insulation. Consequently, it can be found in the form of pipe, ceiling, stove, and old furnace insulation. This hazardous material is also present in cement shingles, electric wires casings, vinyl floor tiles, fire-resistant fabrics, and a myriad of other products. Visit this page to check out some useful tips about identifying dangerous asbestos insulation.
As a result, there is a variety of exposure scenarios where homeowners are likely to directly expose themselves to the detrimental effects of asbestos. For instance, individuals are susceptible to such exposure while remodelling attics, drilling drywalls, removing vinyl floor tiles, removing ceilings, or cutting pipe insulation. In the course of replacing existing insulation or drilling holes in drywall, asbestos fibers are spread in the air. Once asbestos-containing insulation is disturbed, there is no way for homeowners to impede the dispersal of toxic particles.
The same goes for removing vinyl floor tiles, typical for the homes in the 1950s. Asbestos fibers are likely to be released during the process of removing tiles with a scraper. Owners of homes with vinyl flooring are encouraged to install the new floor tiles over the existing ones so as to prevent the release of hazardous particles.
Moreover, most of the textured ceilings tend to be built with asbestos-containing products, hence presenting a safety hazard for residents. When scraping such ceilings for the purpose of repainting, homeowners are exposed to the risk of inhaling asbestos particles, regardless of the dust masks fitted on their faces. The following link, https://www.webmd.com/lung/asbestos-exposure, explains the risk of asbestos exposure and the most effective ways of avoiding it.
In addition, dealing with deteriorated pipe insulation in old houses is yet another potential exposure scenario. Cutting the damaged insulation and replacing it with a new one will most certainly result in a release of asbestos particles.
Not removing this hazardous material properly from your home might result in a myriad of health problems. The likelihood of developing an asbestos-related disease depends on the amount of this mineral in the air, the duration of the exposure, and the exposure route.
In addition, a multitude of individual characteristics is believed to play a major role in the risk of experiencing severe health effects. For instance, both age and gender are considered to be relevant, as well as the nutrition and lifestyle of the affected person.
People who smoke tobacco and suffer from a particular respiratory condition are thought to be more susceptible to experiencing an asbestos-related disease. In a nutshell, asbestos concentration, the duration, and frequency of exposure are of crucial importance.
Health effects of asbestos
Unfortunately, the long-term exposure to this silicate mineral usually results in serious health consequences. The most common residential asbestos dangers manifest with the development of severe diseases, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Anyhow, the first symptoms of these medical conditions most commonly develop between twenty and thirty years since the commencement of the exposure.
Asbestosis is common in individuals exposed to asbestos particles for a minimum of a few years, whereas the development of this disease takes approximately ten years. This chronic lung disease manifests with severe inflammation and scarred lung tissue. Consequently, the lungs are no longer flexible enough to enable normal breathing. Due to the difficulties in the breathing process, patients experience wheeziness, extreme chest pain, cough, and bluish skin tone.
When it comes to lung cancer, the development of this aggressive disease is determined by numerous factors, such as the type of asbestos fibers, the length and starting point of the exposure, as well as the age at which the person became first affected by the toxic material.
Moreover, the symptoms of lung cancer are not experienced until it’s too late for any kind of treatment. Patients experience chronic cough, fever, chest pain, wheeziness, and sudden weight loss. Considering the similarity of lung cancer symptoms with the ones of other lung disorders, people are required to confirm their doubts with a laboratory test.
Mesothelioma is undoubtedly one of the rarest forms of cancer, most commonly developed in asbestos workers. The fatal character of mesothelioma provides patients with extremely short survival time, typically a few months. Unlike lung cancer, the tobacco-smoking history of the patient has nothing to do with the risk of developing mesothelioma. These individuals experience both chest and shoulder pain, fatigue, sudden weight loss, and dry cough.
Furthermore, asbestos is likely to cause a non-cancerous lung condition, known as the pleural disease. This condition is responsible for making changes to the pleura, referring to the lining of the lungs and chest cavity. As a result, the pleura becomes thicker, hence reducing the normal function of the respiratory system. These pleural abnormalities affect up to fifty percent of asbestos workers, as well as their family members.
Ultimately, the exposure to this hazardous material might result in a poor function of the immune system, particularly in patients suffering from asbestosis. Additionally, another asbestos-related condition is retroperitoneal fibrosis, referring to the presence of a fibrous mass in the abdominal cavity.
When doubting an asbestos-related danger, contact professionals to conduct a house inspection and ensure safe removal.
The health of your family is priceless!