Asbestos is a group of mineral fibers used in many industries and products. A few decades ago, researchers found a direct relation between asbestos and cancer .
They proved that asbestos is the cause of peritoneal mesothelioma, malignant pleural mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.
This dangerous mineral is also found in numerous materials used in homes construction and public buildings, among others.
If you think you may have been in contact with this hazardous material or you live in a house built before 1990, read on, because this carcinogenic material may be part of your home and your family might be in danger.
Before we delve deeper into the consequences of living or working in an environment where this harmful mineral is present, let’s look at what is asbestos and where to find it.
WHAT IS ASBESTOS?
Asbestos is a material produced from fibers of certain minerals (silicates). It is used in the construction sector, insulation, in the military industry, navy, etc.
These flexible fibers are a great product for the manufacture of insulating material, among others, due to their high resistance to heat, fire, corrosion and electricity.
WHAT TYPES OF ASBESTOS ARE THERE?
We can classify asbestos into two groups: serpentine asbestos, whose fibers are curly, and amphibole asbestos, formed by fibers in the form of sharp needles.
In the first, we distinguish white asbestos or Chrysotile, and in the second, we can differentiate between amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite (blue asbestos), actinolite and tremolite. All these varieties of asbestos are harmful to health.
RISK OF EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS
Exposure to asbestos carries a number of health risks that cannot be reversed. Any amount of asbestos accumulated in the body can cause damage, so it is essential to avoid contact with this dangerous mineral.
The greater the contact with this carcinogenic material, the greater the risk of developing a serious disease such as cancer.
WHO IS MOST AT RISK OF DEVELOPING MALIGNANT MESOTHELIOMA OR CANCER CAUSED BY ASBESTOS?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can only be suffered by people who have been in contact with large amounts of asbestos fibers for a long time.
The majority of patients who suffer from it are men aged between 60 and 70 years, since they are the class of workers who have occupied jobs in which this carcinogenic material was used.
In addition, family members who have been in contact with these people are also at risk of developing malignant mesothelioma, because asbestos fibers remain impregnated in clothing and can be passively inhaled by people close to them.
PROFESSIONALS EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS AND CANCER
According to studies carried out by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, between 1940 and 1979, more than 27 million workers were exposed to asbestos in their respective workplaces.
The professionals at risk of malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-induced cancer are those who have worked in the construction sector, firefighters, military, shipbuilding and mining, among others.
People living in areas close to certain mines where these materials are produced are also at high risk of these asbestos-related diseases, due to air pollution in those places.
If you want to renovate your home by yourself you should contact an asbestos professional to perform inspection tests on your home.
It is possible that there are old materials made of asbestos in your home, so it is important that an asbestos removal company performs the necessary tests to confirm that there is no risk of contamination.
PRODUCTS CONTAINING ASBESTOS
You are probably wondering where are asbestos products commonly found?
As we said, asbestos is frequently found in materials such as asbestos cement and other materials used for thermal and acoustic insulation.
It is very common to find it on ceilings in the form of insulating foam, as well as in old pipes or tiles. Besides, it can also be used in adhesives, roof insulation, reinforced plastics and materials used in the shipping industry, automotive products such as brakes and coating materials.
In addition, it is known to be present in certain talc powders used for infants (check out johnson and johnson mesothelioma lawsuit). The pharmaceutic company Johnson & Johnson has paid $4 billion to people who have suffered from ovarian cancer and mesothelioma (among other tumors) due to the use of asbestos in their products.
Despite being so dangerous to health, asbestos is not banned in many countries and it is still used in many industrial sectors.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A MATERIAL CONTAINS ASBESTOS?
Asbestos fibre cannot be recognised with the naked eye, as they are similar to other types of fibres used in different industries.
How to Identify Asbestos?
Asbestos can only be recognized by analysing samples of suspect materials. There are currently asbestos tests that can be easily purchased online.
The most appropriate thing to do in case of suspected asbestos is to call an asbestos removal company and request an analysis of your home. Asbestos-containing materials are very hazardous if they are discarded in a home renovation.
For example, in popcorn ceilings, tiles or asbestos cement, there is a high risk of asbestos poisoning because they are hit and asbestos fibers are dispersed through the air, and they can be inhaled by people in the room.
In addition to these materials, we can find some that are more fragile and decompose easily. For example, we can find pipes made of asbestos, which break easily, detaching the fibers and producing dust.
HOW TO REMOVE ASBESTOS SAFELY AT HOME?
The removal of asbestos at home should only be carried out by companies with specialized professionals.
People who make renovations to their home and do not take the necessary safety measures can suffer major injuries due to exposure to asbestos.
The procedure for a safe asbestos removal in the home requires the use of stringent measures to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres into the air.
People exposed to asbestos in an enclosed space are very likely to develop lung cancer or mesothelioma due to the deposit of these fibers in lung tissue.
Therefore, it is essential to wear protective goggles, special masks, appropriate clothing, as well as packaging of the bags containing asbestos. The area must be properly sealed to prevent the fibers from leaving the outside.
We highly recommend that you do not risk your life and protect your health. If you have asbestos in your home, you should definitely hire an Asbestos Abatement Company and don’t expose yourself to any danger.
In some countries, removing asbestos can only be carried out by specialised professionals.
The asbestos removal cost is usually high, but it depends on the country and the company contracted.
ASBESTOS AND CANCER.
HOW DOES ASBESTOS CAUSE LUNG CANCER AND MESOTHELIOMA?
Asbestos fibres can be inhaled when breathing or ingesting contaminated water with this material. These fibers accumulate and generate inflammation in these tissues, and over time can lead to the appearance of cancer.
What is asbestos mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer produced in the linings of certain tissues.
Asbestos fibers remain deposited in the lungs and the tissue that surrounds them, called the pleura, as well as in other tissues such as the abdominal mesothelium (enveloping membrane called peritoneum).
Cancer caused by asbestos in mesothelial tissues is called malignant mesothelioma. This malignant tumor is very aggressive and it is produced only by asbestos.
Among the most common malignant mesotheliomas we find pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and less frequently, pericardic and testicular mesothelioma.
In addition, the accumulation of asbestos in the lungs can lead to lung, laryngeal and ovarian cancer.
What is asbestosis?
Asbestos can cause a disease called asbestosis, which is an alteration lung normal tissues that lead to scarring in the lungs and produces respiratory symptoms. It also produces widened fingertips and toes clubbing.
Asbestos exposure also produces pleural effusions and pleuritis, among others.
Asbestos and lung cancer.
The exposure to asbestos may also lead to the development of lung cancer, due to the irritation, inflamation and transformation of normal tissues. Asbestos fibers can produce abnormal changes in cells, causing tumoral cells that may develop asbestos-related lung cancer.
These malignant tumors caused by asbestos exposure take decades to appear.
If you have worked in a factory that used asbestos or have asbestos in your home, you should make an appointment with a specialist doctor to rule out damage as soon as possible.
ASBESTOS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (F.A.Q.)
Asbestos is a group of mineral fibers used in many industries and products that produce lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, among other diseases.
Asbestos is not present in all vermiculites, but there was a mne in Libby (Montana) that contained a type of asbestos called actinoliite-tremolite. The mine was closed in 1990.
No, there are mines that contain asbestos, but not all vermiculite insulation is contaminated with this dangerous mineral.
Asbestos tiles look like other tiles and the only way to know if they are contaminated with asbestos is by taking a tile sample to use an asbestos home test kit.
Yes, popcorn ceilings usually content about 1-10% of asbestos fibers, and it is very dangerous due to the spread in the air. The inhalation of this asbestos popcorn fibers is a huge risk for health due to the development of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
First of all, you should wear protective glasses and a special mask for asbestsos, security is fundamental.
In second place, you should remove the nails that hold the damaged piece of asbestos and the asbestos siding.
In third place, replace the old asbestos shingle with a new piece of fiber cement.
You can consult this video to watch the procedure of replacing an asbestos siding.
What are asbestos symptoms?
Asbestos poisoning can cause different diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma or lung cancer with many symptoms, depending on the disease. The symptoms of asbestos related diseases are dry cough, weight loss, chest pain, difficulty to breathe, crackling sound in chest when breathing, shortness of breath, abnormal inflammation in fingertips and toes, etc.
Asbestos removal costs depends on the size of the contaminated area and the quantity of asbestos to remove. You can expect to pay a minimum of $1200 and over. If you need to remove huge quantities of asbestos products, the asbestos removal can cost thousands of dollars.
Asbestos poisoning is a chronic disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos products for many years. This lead to a disease called asbestosis, that affect lungs and produces shortness of breath and wider fingertips and toes, among other symptoms. Asbestosis produce scarring in the lungs and reduces lung capacity.
Asbestos is found on roofing, popcorn ceiling, ceiling tiles, floor vynil tiles, pipes, textured paint, walls siding, reinforced plastics, etc. Asbestos insulation and sprayed asbestos was very common from 1920 to 1990.
Asbestos ceiling tiles look like other ceiling tiles, but there are some fats that may help you identify asbestos tiles.
They were used in home before 90s, they used to be rectangular or square shaped with a common size of 2×2 or 2×4. Asbestos ceiling tiles were tipically found in suspended ceilings in old homes and buildings.
The best way to knoow if a material contanis asbestos is by using an asbestos test kit.
Asbestos popcorn ceiling removal is dangerous due to the probability of inhaling asbestos fibers. The process of removing popcorn ceiling asbestos spread fibers into the air. You should definitely hire an asbestos abatement professional for this demmolition job because it requires huge safety precautions. It is worth to hire an asbestos company to reduce the risks of resulting poisoned by this carcinogenic material.
There are many asbestos test kis for homeowners who want to know if asbestos is present in their homes. You can buy an asbestos test, remove a small sample of your popcorn ceiling (by using safety precautions always) and send it to an asbestos specialised laboratory. They will analyze your sample and inform you about the presence of asbestos in your home.
Home inspectors don’t check for asbestos in new homes. They can tell you the places that may contain asbestos and they can suggest you to test them before the renovation in order to reduce the probabilities of being poisoned with this hazardous material.
The best option is hiring an asbestos professional company to take samples and test them.
Yes, asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and many diseases.
Asbestosis is linked to lung cancer because asbestos fibers deposited in the lungs can cause inflammation and modifications in healthy lung cells. This can result in lung carcinoma.
Asbestos can cause lung cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma, malignante peritoneal mesothelioma, laryngeal cancer, ovarian cancer, etc.
Asbestos exposure can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, laryngeal cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular mesothelioma or pericardial mesothelioma, among others.
Asbestos fibers can be inhaled and deposited in lung tissues. This fibers can cause inflammation and they can alterate healthy cells and turn them into tumoral cells, developin a lung cancer.
Yes, you can file a lawsuit for personal injuries or wrongful death caused by asbestos exposure. You can also sue for asbestos exposure even if your family member has passed away.
No, asbestos is not cancer. Asbestos is a hazardous mineral that may develop lung cancer, mesothelioma and other types of cancer and chronic diseases.
The average settlement for asbestos claim depends on the severity of injuries and it is always less than trials compensations. You can receive about $1-$2million in compensations, it will depend on your asbestos lawyer efficiency and the damages suffered by the victims.
There is not a way to know how much exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma. The higher the exposure to asbestos, the higher the probabilities of developping mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of lungs linings or abdomen linings and asbestosis is a chronics disease caused in the lungs, but it is not cancer. They are both produced by asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure in 80% of cases, according to the American Cancer Society. Mesothelioma can also be produced by radiation exposure, genetic mutations or exposure to a volcanic mineral called erionite. This mineral is widely found in Capadoccia, in the Anatoly region in Turkey and it was discovered due to the increase of mesothelioma cases in this country.
All types of asbestos are suitable of causing mesothelioma and lung cancers. Asbestos is a hazardous and carcinogenic mineral that get stucked in the lungs and produce inflammation and alterations in healthy tissues, leading to cancer.
Asbestos floor tiles were very common for flooring from 1920 to 1970.