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What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is incredibly dangerous, which is why we offer Asbestos Removal Liverpool. Asbestos is a group of six different silicate minerals occurring naturally in the environment in the form of fibres. These minerals can be turned into thin and durable threads to use in commercial as well as industrial scale. These durable fibres can easily resist heat, fire and chemicals. They are also an insulator to electricity. These are some of the major reasons on why asbestos is usually used in many factories and industries as well as shipyards, mines and mills. Some other minerals like erionite can also be found in our environment which are similar to asbestos.

The six minerals are the compounds of silicate in their chemical form. They consist of oxygen and silicate atoms in their molecular structure. All of these minerals have common eponymous asbestiform habit. These minerals include long and thin fibrous crystals having an aspect ratio of around 1:20. Each fibrous crystal consists of infinite microscopic fibrils which are released due to the processes like abrasion. These minerals can be separated from each other by looking at their colors. Some of them are green asbestos, brown asbestos, blue asbestos and white asbestos.

These silicate minerals can be distinguished in two groups; one is Serpentine asbestos and the other is Amphibole asbestos. The first asbestos (i.e. Serpentine asbestos) consists of mineral Chrysotile having long and curly fibres. These fibres can easily be woven. The mineral chrysotile form of asbestos is usually used in a large scale in different commercial fields. The next asbestos (i.e. Amphibole asbestos) consists of different minerals like Amosite, Anthophyllite, Tremolite, Actinolite as well as Crocidolite. This form of asbestos includes straight fibres in the shape of a needle. These fibres are highly brittle in comparison to the fibres in serpentine asbestos. However, they don’t have a maximum ability of fabrication. These two forms of asbestos minerals have been recognized by the Government of the United States and have been mentioned in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) in 1986.

The bundles of asbestos-containing fibres are soft, microscopic and flexible. Pure asbestos can act as a highly effective insulator and can be used to increase the strength of different materials like plastic, paper, cloth and cement by combining with them. Due to these specialties of asbestos, it has been proved to be highly profitable for businesses in commercial scale. However, when the fibres of asbestos get trapped into human body due to heavy exposure to them in shipyards, factories, mills and industries, different diseases can be received over time. Hence, asbestos is also a very toxic material that can result in very serious and fatal diseases. The executive figures of these locations have been trying different measures to prevent the health dangers of asbestos to their staffs and people residing near these places for many decades.

Asbestos is a very well-known material for playing the main role in causing different fatal diseases like asbestos-related lung cancer, pleural thickening, mesothelioma and asbestosis. These diseases can be developed in the mesothelium which includes organs like lungs, abdomen, chest and even heart and can take many decades for the symptoms to start appearing.

 

It may be helpful to look into the history of asbestos to learn more.

Even though AHERA has legalized the two forms of asbestos in the United States, different attempts for the regulation of asbestos and manufacture of asbestos-containing materials have failed. The main reason behind this is the restriction for different commercial agencies, businesses and industries to produce asbestos products. However, it is also legal to have just a single percentage of asbestos in all the products manufactured in the United States, but using more than 1% can be a threat. Despite the restriction to regulate asbestos in the United States, it has remained as one of the only few countries in the world where the use of asbestos is not banned.

Even though the use of asbestos in different products is limited to just a single percentage, different old machines and architectures have been using products containing asbestos in large scale since they were built and manufactured before AHERA was passed in 1986 and before the modern restrictions for the use of asbestos came into effect. Many industries and factories all over the world are still using asbestos from time to time in the present era. The use of asbestos-containing materials has stayed as a huge threat for affecting the health of living organisms in many countries like United States, China and India.

Why Is Asbestos So Dangerous?

It’s incredibly important to get asbestos removed from your premise, which is why we offer Asbestos Removal Liverpool. When the products containing asbestos are damaged or adjourned, the fibres get released into the environment. When living organisms inhale these fibres, they can be attacked by infectious diseases. However, you won’t be getting symptoms of these diseases immediately. It usually takes a lot of time for the symptoms to appear. Once you get diagnosed with these diseases, it would already be very late for you to perform any actions. This is the reason why you need to start preventing yourself from getting near to damaged asbestos-containing products.

Comparison of Normal Lungs and Lungs with Asbestos-related Diseases

Normal Lungs and Lungs with Asbestos-related Diseases

These are the main diseases which can be caused due to the exposure to Asbestos:

  1. Asbestosis
  2. Mesothelioma
  3. Pleural thickening
  4. Asbestos-related lung cancer

Asbestosis

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious lung disease which is caused due to the inhalation of heavy amount of asbestos particles. The symptoms of asbestosis usually don’t appear over the time of up to four decades. Asbestos is very dangerous. You may start getting the symptoms in around a decade or two. Some of the major symptoms include tightness in your chest, shortness of breath, enlargement of fingertips, persistence of dry cough, etc. If you start getting these early symptoms, you might need to go to the doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis. With the symptoms of asbestosis, you might even get pulmonary heart disease, lung cancer as well as mesothelioma.

 

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a strange type of cancer that starts developing from the thin membrane that covers different internal organs of the mesothelium such as lungs, abdomen, chest and even heart. Usually, the thin membrane lining of the lungs and chest wall are found to be common affected area with this fatal disease. Mesothelioma always appears due to heavy exposure to asbestos, first starting from asbestosis. Certain percentage of all people working with asbestos in mines and textile industries as well as shipyards using asbestos are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Other people working in factories where asbestos-containing gas masks are prepared also have high risk of contracting mesothelioma. If you are residing near these shipyards and factories where large amount of airborne fibres of asbestos are released, you might also start getting the symptoms of this disease which can later turn very fatal.

Pleural Thickening

Pleural Thickening

Pleural thickening is generally known as Diffuse Pleural Thickening (i.e. DPT). It is a lung disease which occurs due to the heavy exposure to asbestos-containing fibres. What exactly happens if you get diagnosed with this disease is that the lining of the lungs (i.e. the pleura) gets thickened due to extensive scarring. Some of the major symptoms of this disease include shortness of breath, pain in your chest, etc. Due to this, adverse effects like improper functioning of lungs can be seen in your body. This disease is not so dangerous, as well as not exactly a sign of asbestos lung disease. In fact, this disease is very common and not so fatal like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Asbestos-related Lung Cancer

Asbestos-related Lung Cancer

Asbestos-related lung cancer is exactly the same as lung cancer which you can get by smoking and other habits. Similar to asbestosis and mesothelioma, this kind of lung cancer also takes up to four decades after the exposure to asbestos-containing fibres for the appearance of symptoms. Research claims that for every death due to the exposure of asbestos, there is around one lung cancer. Some of the major symptoms that can appear before the diagnosis of this fatal disease include wheezing, discomfort of your chest, shortness of breath, persistence of cough, loss of appetite, chronic infections regarding respiratory systems, etc. If you start developing these symptoms, you need to consult with the doctor or any well-trained medical personnel because the prognosis and treatment of this disease are highly dependent upon the stage of the lung cancer. If you are smoking as well as having exposure to asbestos-containing fibres, then you might have very high risk of getting asbestos-related lung cancer or any forms of lung cancer. Looking into the history of asbestos can be very helpful.