If you know anything about asbestos, it’s probably this: it’s extremely dangerous. From a young age, we’re taught to avoid it at all costs. We’re taught to avoid dark basements and dusty crawlspaces where this evil material lurks. Although most of us are aware of the general risks associated with asbestos exposure, much of its existence remains a mystery. From the experts at Certified Asbestos Removal, here are a few things you didn’t know about asbestos:
Asbestos Is All-Natural
It’s hard to believe that this deadly substance is produced naturally. Unlike many toxic chemicals and materials found in homes, asbestos is mined from the earth. This silicate mineral is made of thin, long and fibrous crystals and is carcinogenic. Although asbestos mining was halted in 2011 in Canada, its effects continue to be seen in the form of disease like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos Had Strange Applications
Asbestos was used in more than just insulation and paint. As if smoking isn’t unhealthy enough on its own, in the 1950s, some cigarettes were designed with a filter made with asbestos. Millions of packets were sold. Due to its fire-retardant properties, asbestos was also used to create fire fighting equipment and clothing. Possibly one of the most horrifying uses of asbestos in the past was its application as an abrasive in toothpaste. Eek!
Asbestos-Related Illnesses Can Take Years to Develop
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive, and often deadly form of cancer. This asbestos-related illness forms on the abdomen and lungs, and presently has no cure. The scariest part of mesothelioma is that it takes a minimum of 15 years to present symptoms. Some people may not present symptoms for more than 60 years. Those afflicted with this cancer are often in their 60s and 70s, and were exposed to asbestos as young adults or children.
Asbestos Exists in Many Forms
Many people conceive of asbestos as a single mineral. Conversely, “asbestos” is just a commercial term used to describe a multitude of minerals, which are part of one of two families: serpentine asbestos, or amphibole asbestos. Serpentine asbestos is comprised of curly fibres made up of crystal sheets, and has historically counted for over 95% of all asbestos ever used. Amphibole asbestos consists of needle-shaped fibres, and requires much less exposure to cause illness.
Although asbestos is a dangerous substance, and one that is often feared, it has a rich and fascinating history worth learning about. If you have any further questions about asbestos, or have an asbestos problem in your home, get in touch with us at Certified Asbestos Removal today. Our expert technicians offer one of the safest, most efficient, and cost-effective services in the industry today.