Most people are familiar will the term asbestos as it relates to health. Essentially, its become a sort of poster word for poison to avoid at all costs. Asbestos is a combination of six minerals which combine beneficially for industrial purposes. Asbestos is often found in old attics and in walls for the insulation protection that it provides. Unfortunately, the health consequences of asbestos inhalation are often dire.
Lung cancer is an all too common result of asbestos inhalation. Unsuspecting home owners, renters, as well as those with careers in plumbing, heating, and other home repairs risk exposure. Asbestos was formerly found in products like brake pedals before the 1990′s and in the 1950′s, it was even used in the filter of cigarettes, providing a double whammy to the nicotine being inhaled. Mesothelioma is a particularly rare form of cancer that also results from long term exposure to asbestos. Given these dire consequences, why was this product ever popular to begin with?
As if the case with many harmful chemicals, the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages in a business sense. Asbestos is a flame retardent agent, making it particularly attractive to use in homes and businesses. While other agents go up in smoke, asbestos is more likely to turn a fire away than other materials. It also provides great insulation, helping to keep houses warm and at a fraction of the cost of other insulation materials.
So what can you do to limit your asbestos exposure? Fortunately, you can test for asbestos. Asbestos can be located and removed by professionals who wear will wear masks for their own protection. Do not ever attempt to solve an asbestos problem on your own. It’s not a project for a novice, and the consequences of breathing it in and out for a period of time can be dire.