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Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure and How to Avoid Them

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If you are living in a home that is built around three or four decades ago, then it is quite possible that you will find this article interesting and informative. Homes that are old are likely to have asbestos because this material may have been used for building homes. They were widely used because they were known to have very good insulating and fire retardant capabilities. It was common to see the use of asbestos on wall plasters, ceilings, floor and ceilings, wallboards, floors, floor mastics, vinyl floor backings, and other such places. Asbestos is not a big risk if it remains fresh and undamaged. However, with time it is quite obvious that they will degrade and get damaged. This will lead to tiny fibers peeling away from the asbestos and they will start becoming airborne. Damage can also occur when the asbestos sheets are removed for repair and renovation work of the ceilings, air-conditioning ducts, and other such places.

The Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure

asbestos poisoningThe fibrous substances that peel out of asbestos when it gets damaged start entering the body through our nose while we breathe. They start getting deposited in the linings of our lungs and this could cause severe damage to the lungs and the entire pulmonary system. The problem with asbestos poisoning is that it does not get noticed immediately and takes months and years to manifest itself. However, once people come to know about asbestos poisoning, in most cases, by then the damage would have been done. The lungs would have been damaged beyond repair and in many cases, the persons could also stand a high risk of suffering from lung cancer. The three most common health effects related to asbestos poisoning are asbestosis, mesothelioma, and of course lung cancer.

Asbestosis leads to severe lung problems such as breathing problems and crackling sounds while breathing. If left untreated it could become a life risk and could lead to cardiac arrests. Mesothelioma is another form of rare lung cancer that occurs in the thin membrane lining of our lungs, abdomen, chest, and also the heart. Almost all cases of mesothelioma are traceable to asbestos poisoning. Hence it is highly important to ensure that we pay serious attention to asbestos removal. Let us now look at some effective ways by which this can be done.

Methods of Removal

The methods for removing asbestos in homes, offices, and commercial spaces cannot be straight-jacketed. It will vary depending on the level of damage to asbestos and the risks that it offers. If the asbestos damage is categorized as high risk then the removal has to be handled by professionals in fully controlled conditions. This may require the construction of enclosures that are airtight. This is done around the work area and the area is also put under negative pressure. This prevents the spread of asbestos fibres when the removal is happening. The persons who are part of the asbestos removal job have to ensure that their body is fully covered and they have artificial breathing apparatuses whilst working in such areas.

Be Sure That You Are On the Right Side of the Law

asbestos removalIt is against laws for contractors to remove asbestos and the following should be kept in mind. The contractors who are doing the job must hold a valid asbestos license. Secondly, the removal process should be classified as low risk. Hence it would be better to take professional help and counsel before we allow a contract to touch and work with any asbestos in your property. We have to bear in mind that asbestos if removed or disturbed without the right contamination prevention protocols and methods could lead to problems and it could become a serious health hazard and the rectification process may be expensive. It also could be irreversible from the health perspective.

How Long Does it Take?

The time taken for the removal of asbestos from home and offices would depend on the overall difficulty and complexities. For example, a single asbestos garage roof could be made free from asbestos in around half a day. If asbestos has been used in the ceilings of a single room, it could take around one to two days to safely remove the damaged asbestos. If it is a case of removing asbestos from multiple rooms, the entire process may take around one week and more.


To conclude, asbestos removal,while being indispensable, should be done only by professionals who know the job and they are the ones who can come out with cost-effective and simple ways to remove these health hazards from properties, both commercial and domestic.

Article Submitted By Community Writer