Asbestos facts and thoughts

Comments OffWritten on March 20th, 2013 by
Categories: Unisex

If you are concerned about your health at home, office, or locality, then one of the important questions that you should ask is what does asbestos look like and how harmful it can be? The answer to the former part of this query aids you in identifying asbestos, while the reply to the latter part encourages one to remove it from home or office. There is every possibility that asbestos or its materials are present in the floor, ceilings, or roofs because in the past, this material was widely used in the construction of walls as well as ceilings. However, it was later banned for its dangerous health diseases such as lung cancer and asbestosis.

Most of the times, people like to know what does asbestos look like and where it is use. For this, I would say that simply observe your maintenance personnel who always pay attention to the ceiling repairs and to the protective materials handling. What I am trying to say is that asbestos is a risky mineral that is present in materials of construction, especially for walls as well as ceilings. Moreover, this fatal material contains thin fibers whose release results in inhalation that causes deadly diseases such as lung cancer. However, the material is only dangerous if you do not handle it properly. It is very dangerous to handle this material particularly if you are not aware of it. Due to these facts, it becomes more essential for you to know what does asbestos look like so that you can handle it well.

Most of the old buildings today are the major holders of this risky mineral. The main reason behind this is that asbestos was in wide use for its heat- and fire-resistant properties making it best for making ceilings and walls. You must have also heard that it is used in making the clothes worn by the fire protectors. By the way, asbestos was derived from the Greek word ‘asbestinon’ that refers to inextinguishable. Because asbestos can appear in different forms when used in ceilings, piles, and walls, it is vital to know what does asbestos look like. When present in the raw state, the substance appears similar to rock fragments or small minerals. Its commercial use involves mixing it with some other substances for making it suitable for shielding floors, ceilings, and walls against fire. Coming to its colors, the mineral is mostly available in white, gray, and brown. Sometimes, you will also find it in blue color. After all, the application determines its color. Nevertheless, the fact is that it is difficult to spot this mineral on just a stare.

It is vital for you to detect the presence of asbestos in your living area. However, never try to do so on your own. This is because only a trained expert knows how to detect and remove it from home or office. Even if you know what does asbestos look like, never try to touch it in any way. Always call a professional asbestos removal expert in this regard.


Asbestos is quite harmful if you fail to handle correctly. Actually, its fibers are quite hazardous for your health if you inhale them. Therefore, be careful if you are working in the environment where asbestos particles are present in the air, as they can easily reach out in the air. Moreover, it is vital for you to follow safe handling as well asasbestos disposal procedures so that you can alleviate the risk of debilitating ailments caused by asbestos.

If you are attempting to discard asbestos from home, kindly avoid breaking it into pieces so that you can later fit them into bins. If you break into pieces, this activity proves to be dangerous and results in the release of the risky fibers in the air. After the asbestos disposal from home, ensure that you keep the waste in a damp place or purposely wet it. This will minimize the release of fibers into the air. However, the most important things to take care during damping are the usage of water and area. Remember in mind that you should never use too much water, as that will prevent the excess to enter the drains. During this procedure of asbestos disposal, use water carefully and then cover the waste by wrapping it in a heavy-duty plastic. Lastly, make the wrap strong by using a good adhesive tape to ensure zero dust escape. Next, choose such a location for asbestos disposal where no other kind of waste or material exists. This is necessary to reduce the unauthorized access to wastes.

In case you are using a skip bin for asbestos disposal, just make it 100% sure that it is completely covered with the heavy-duty plastic. Once this is done, you can store the asbestos waste into it. As said above, you need to make even this waste wet. Herein, you need to take care that of two issues: Overfilling and Covering. Never overfill the skip and always cover it when full. Before initiating the asbestos removal project, it is necessary to ask your local authorities about a license to transport the asbestos waste. You need to surely check this without any mistake, as a few jurisdictions have declared asbestos self-removal illegal. Therefore, you might need to take the help of a fully licensed asbestos disposal specialist if you want to remove them from your home or locality.

If you have the permission of transporting the waste, ensure that you have make it wet properly. Further, you must package them securely before loading them into your van. After this, you also need to ensure that you take the waste to the landfill sites that accept such waste legally. In case you are not aware of the closer landfill sites, it is wise to contact your local authorities. You can then dump the waste at a chosen or nearest landfill site, but ensure nothing remains in your transport sedan. I hope that this guide will aid you in safe asbestos disposal. However, I would still recommend approaching an experienced asbestos removal specialist in this regard.

Asbestos Exposure Symptoms

Asbestos refers to a natural mineral holding fibrous crystal. When this fibers mix into the air due to improper packaging or storing, people who inhale them are prone to several asbestos-related ailments such as lung cancer and asbestosis. These people are mostly the ones who work in industries using asbestos such as mines, construction sites, oil and power generation industries, and building sites. This means that electricians, building workers, metal extractors, and ship builders are always at the risk of the asbestos exposure symptoms.

Exposure for a prolonged period to high levels of asbestos increases the chances of emitting the symptoms of lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. On the other hand, the short-term exposure induces symptoms such as shortness of breath, skin irritation, chest pain, and abdominal pain. The worst feature of all possible ailments is that the symptoms never show up instantly; in fact, they tend to appear after 20 to 40 years following the exposure. This is mainly because the asbestos exposure symptoms develop gradually over a phase of time.

It is necessary to know that the asbestos exposure symptoms do not necessarily trigger in the above-mentioned workers. Even people like you and me can be at that risk. For instance, while renovating the home, we can inhale some fibers of this material. Therefore, we all must remain alert in such conditions. After being exposed, one can witness mild to severe asbestos exposure symptoms that can vary from one person to another as per the amount and time of exposure. Nevertheless, the most common asbestos exposure symptoms are listed below.

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Crackling sound during inhalation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chronic cough or blood
  • Wheezing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Clubbing toes and fingers
  • Bluish color of fingers and lips

Now, let us get familiar with the asbestos exposure symptoms as per the three ailments. In case of asbestosis, the asbestos exposure symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, breathing problem, chronic cough, and difficulty with physical exertion. On the other hand, mesothelioma that badly impacts the chest as well as abdomen membranes induce chest pain, fatigue, persistent cough, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. When it affects the abdomen, it leads to the swelling of the abdominal cavity, fever, weight loss, bowel obstruction, night sweats, anemia, and nausea. On the other hand, when it affects the chest, it triggers heart palpitation, unusual fatigue during exertion, persistent cough, pain, and shortness of breath. In case of lung cancer, the asbestos exposure symptoms that becomes noticeable are lung infections, dry cough, blood blended with sputum, and chest pain.

If you tend to notice any of these common asbestos exposure symptoms, instantly call your physician so that you can discard the chances of these ailments. The diagnosis shall then include a detailed study of the occupational as well as medical history of the patient, chest X-ray, pulmonary function test, biopsy, and CT scans. Timely diagnosis makes sure of a prompt treatment!

Asbestos poisoning refers to the dangerous health effects that one experiences after an exposure to asbestos. This happens when the fibers of this naturally occurring mineral in the air gets inside your body via inhaling or swallowing. Although now this mineral is banned for use, it was until recently utilized in creating many heat- and flame-resistant products. Therefore, those who have been exposed to this material over a long period are prone to asbestos poisoning. These people include workers at the construction sites, asbestos mining sites, railroad sites, and shipyard places. Such poisoning has the ability to trigger several health complications as well as ailments. Although most of these complications are not deadly or toxic, some do have the power to invite death.

Asbestos poisoning directly result in ailments such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, immunological inefficiencies, pulmonary hypertension, respiratory complications, and digestive problems. Among these, the most debilitating as well as life threatening ailment is cancer. Asbestos poisoning can cause lung or stomach cancer, but there can be other reasons for this disease in you. However, mesothelioma is such that it is always the outcome of asbestos poisoning. It is the most fatal of all the asbestos poisoning diseases, which refers to the cancer of the pleural lining of the lungs. This lining is actually a skin membrane that also flanks the stomach and heart where it has a different name for its identity. Records reveal that nearly 2000 victims of mesothelioma come up every year.

Asbestosis or pulmonary fibrosis is another outcome of asbestos poisoning. Alarmingly, this refers to an irreversible inflammatory state that forms when the fine fibers attack the parenchymal lung tissue. Consequently, the lungs tend to weaken for triggering the condition of progressive breathing disorder as well as other lung infections. The chances of this disease increase significantly for those who have experienced exposure for longer period. It has been proved clinically that the initial typical symptoms of this ailment can appear after 10 years of the last exposure.

The worst fact of the asbestos poisoning symptoms is that they can take over 10 to 60 years to become tangible or noticeable irrespective of whether you are yet exposing yourself to this material or not. Therefore, the symptoms of this ailment are also invisible in the initial stage making it difficult to treat later. It also means that most of the damage has already taken you in its grip. Further, the symptoms of the ailments do not instantly become noticeable after the first asbestos exposure. Some of the most common symptoms of asbestos poisoning are abdomen pain, shortness of breath, frequent coughing, swelling in stomach, wheezing, weight loss, fatigue, collection of fluids flanking the lungs, anemia, and chest pain.

The good news is that asbestos is now banned, but the government of the various states regulates its use as a flame-resistant shield. However, the scaring fact is that several buildings exist where asbestos materials are still present. This is the main reason why one must conduct asbestos survey to remove the materials as well as go for medical checkup regularly for keeping asbestos poisoning at bay.

Asbestos Removal Cost

Asbestos is harmful for health if you do not handle it with care. If packed properly, it never releases any risky airborne fibers or dust particles that are responsible for minor to major ailments. This exposure only occurs when asbestos products are damaged or messed up, which directly results in allowing the minute fibers to mix into the air, which will later enter the lungs of people and animals. Therefore, it is vital that neither asbestos nor its products should throng your home, office building, or locality. However, if you find it, then your next step has to be its removal for your and other people’s protection. Experts always recommend calling a professional asbestos removal contractor for vacating the area filled with these poisonous materials.

However, if you want to be sure that your place is free of asbestos; it is a wise decision to go for inspection. For this, you need an inspector who is a trained professional to determine the presence of any poisonous asbestos in your office premises or home. She or he will also impart knowledge on how asbestos removal is possible. The main benefit of this inspection is that it might perhaps eliminate some unnecessary removal work that will consequently bring down the asbestos removal cost.

Depending on your area as well as situation, the asbestos removal cost might differ largely. However, many people think that it is inexpensive, which is truly not the case. Even for minor work, a few asbestos abatement companies still demand for over $2,000, which is really a high asbestos removal cost. On the other hand, some companies charge on criteria such as heaps. If the condition is such that your home has asbestos in the floors, ceilings, roof, pipes, and partitions, the asbestos removal cost can be as high as $2 per square foot. On the other hand, a complete removal for the area measuring 1,000 square foot can cost you over $20,000. Yes, I agree this is a very high price. Usually, a home of 1,700 square foot will not make you spend over the range of $400 to $900 for elimination if asbestos is only present in a few spots. It is up to you to decide the criteria and method that offers you the maximum benefits. At the end, you need to forget the cost and focus on removing this poisonous substance totally out of your surroundings with the help of a van asbestos removal professional.

The asbestos removal cost includes the fees for many activities of the discarding process such as examination, lab test after elimination, and actual removal. The tests are done of the material been discarded from your home. As a tip, think of paying everything at once rather than paying in part so that you can save some money. During the allocation of work, ensure that you approach three different firms: One for the vital inspection, second for checking the complete inspection, and third for the asbestos removal service. Lastly, in order to get rid of the asbestos removal cost, never try to remove these dangerous materials on your own; it can risk your and other’s lives!

Asbestos Surveys: How Significant They Are

Asbestos refers to a silicate mineral holding naturally occurring thin fibrous crystals. It was in wide use due to its resistance to flames and ability to withstand unbelievably high temperatures. This is why it was used to fireproof buildings. However, it can be very dangerous, if it is left carelessly at home and office premises. It is vital to discard asbestos or its products from your home, office, or locality because of their harmful fibres that easily release themselves into the air. However, this is only possible if you know as to whether your home contains any such material. This is where the asbestos surveys come into the picture. They aim at identifying any kind of asbestos present in your home, office, or locality. These asbestos surveys also find out any kind of damaged asbestos that are more harmful than the normal asbestos in the sense that they negatively affect the respiratory system. Local authorities or companies that are careful and worried about their people never delay in getting their buildings checked for detecting the existence of asbestos.

Such a survey discloses the presence of any hazardous asbestos material that still throngs the premises. After detecting the presence, the experienced specialists come to your place to remove the asbestos from your building in a safe manner. If at all it is found that such hazardous material is present in your workplace or home, you then need to employ these professionals. It is always advisable to call these experts, as they have undergone a special training for safely removing the asbestos materials without polluting the environment with its fibres that can imperil the physical condition of the people who inhale them. It is now obvious that the one who is no aware of the removal process of asbestos should not act, as asbestos has very serious ill effects if not handled with care.

As per the research conducted by the Health and Safety Executive that refers to an agency in U.K. to function for workplace safety, over 1.5 million industrial, public, and commercial buildings of the nation still have asbestos. Because this material can easily blend with cement, it was commonly used to make heat- and fire- resistant products making a door for high probabilities of asbestos still left behind. This is the main reason why asbestos surveys are vital. One more reason as to why one should go for asbestos surveys is that if the company with asbestos-filled premises does not remove this material on time, it must be ready to face a legal action. This directly means that the owners of the industrial as well as commercial buildings must go for the asbestos surveys due to the mandatory law.

There is no harm if the asbestos not damaged. However, if at all it is damaged, such a material then triggers a danger for the respiratory system when a person inhales the lose fibers in air. Further, these fibers do not break down and tend to last in the lungs to cause ailments over time. This is why asbestos surveys are vital.

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