Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why Do You Need to be Concerned About Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used for a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.

When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities, microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems.

Asbestos exposure can also cause cancer, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, and has been linked to gastrointestinal and colon cancer, as well as a slew of other cancers. Mesothelioma most commonly affects of the lining of the lungs, known as pleural mesothelioma. This cancer can also affect the abdominal cavity (peritoneal), the lining of the heart (pericardial), and in very rare cases, the testes.

Some of the highest incidences of mesothelioma have not been from adults who worked with asbestos, but among their children. Children are more susceptible to its effects than adults and were often exposed to asbestos since it was carried home on parents' work clothes. This is why there is so much concern about asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in school buildings. Many institutions of higher learning have published surveys of ACM in their buildings, which include plans to manage and prevent further exposure, plans to remove it, and programs to educate local populations about the dangers of disturbing ACM. Some universities even maintain their own accredited asbestos testing labs and abatement crews. If you are at risk for these illnesses because high levels of asbestos exposure, have regular medical checkups.Contact Indoor-Aircare for free inspection today.