Danger of Asbestos – Let’s Recognize
Hotel and numerous tourist attraction offer luxury and satisfaction to you. However, you might say that home is the best place in the world. Mind weariness and the fatigue we feel after a day of activities will be paid by seeing our family. Therefore, the house is not only a physical asset but also give meaning to our life psychologically.
However, have you ever that might be there are hazardous air pollutants within your house which can interfere with your respiratory and even might cause you a disease, like an asbestosis?
Yes, one of air pollutant that might present in your lovely house is ASBESTOS. Asbestos often utilized in older houses.
Is your house safe from asbestos?
Let’s discover the asbestos material in your home!
Asbestos is a mineral substance which consists of silicate mineral fibers and different chemical composition. The material is more resistant to acid and fire than any other carcinogen materials.
Asbestos is an international terminology and commonly referred as the variety of minerals that separated into a flexible fiber.
When the fibers release into the air, you can not see the materials with your naked eye. It is because asbestos fibers are very delicate and light so that the fibers can be in the air for several hours after being released to the air. Eventually, the fibers which spread in the air can be inhaled by residents who lives around the area.
Asbestos divided into 2 types, Serpentine and Amphibole which made of pure magnesium silicate. The material frequently utilized as thermal insulation, fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and has been used in various industries.
Canada is a major producer of asbestos because of their largest mines in the country. In addition, there are other asbestos manufacturers, such as Russia, Zimbabwe, Republic of South Africa, Cyprus, and the United States. The use of asbestos spreads almost all over the world. But, at this time, there have been several countries that prohibit the use of asbestos, including Australia.
History Of Asbestos
Asbestos has been used since 2000 years ago by the Greeks and Romans. At that time, asbestos is used as napkins and dress for the King cremation. However, the use of asbestos began to decrease, due to its uncommon utilization.
But, in the 1700s the use of asbestos start to popular. Then, in the 1800s when the industrial revolution occurred, it is the peak of asbestos utilization. Asbestos was used as insulation of steam pipes, turbines, boilers, ovens, and other high-temperature products.
The industrial revolution represents a huge explosion for the asbestos industry until the 1970s. Then, in 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency declared a rule which banned the asbestos production.
The following year, some countries, like European Union, USA, Japan, and Australia imposed a ban on the production of almost all products containing asbestos. It is related to the findings that there is a relation between health problems with the asbestos material, including asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.
Finally, in the 20th century, after some thorough research, researchers found that asbestos is a dangerous material. The result of the research reveals that there is a large number of deaths from lung problems in asbestos mining towns.
However, the diagnosis of asbestosis was first completed in 1924, a woman who worked with asbestos since the age of 13 years died several years later at the age of 33 years, the doctor confirmed she died because of asbestosis. After the incident, research conducted in the UK found that 25% of people suffers from asbestos-related lung disease after working with the material.
Asbestos Products within your house
At home, asbestos frequently used as a building material, such as asbestos roofs or roof tiles, the asbestos sheet for floors and roofs, cone block, thermal insulation products, walls, and ceilings, as well as cement sheets.
House built after the 1990s mostly no longer use the substance for the building material. Thus, normally you can meet a lot of building materials that still contain asbestos in old buildings house.
But, you might still find asbestos in the older buildings and houses.
Asbestos material within your house does not directly become a hazardous material that might endanger your health. The property contains asbestos which in good condition is not likely to cause any problems.
Asbestos becomes dangerous when it is damaged, broken, and might be cracked into microscopic fibers. The fibers might endanger our health once we inhale the substances. The fibers able to lodge in the lungs and for some time the substance will cause several health problems, particularly respiratory disorders. The asbestos-related diseases are including asbestosis (fibrosis that causes thickening and scarring in the lungs), lung cancer, and mesothelioma (cancer in other parts of the respiratory tract such as cancer of the pleura or peritoneum).
The asbestos issues are not only for the sake of the homeowner but also for the surrounding environment and other general aspects of environmental problems, such as the safety of factory workers who produce these materials because they relate continuously by the carcinogen substances.
Furthermore, to save the ecosystem of the river and the sea from the dangers of asbestos contamination. It is because the asbestos manufacturers often discard the dangerous waste to the river.
Even further, the fish which lives in the river and sea might also be contaminated by the material. The worst scenario, human consume the contaminated fish. In the end, it would be dangerous for life cycle widely.
The use of asbestos has an impact on the surrounding environment. Waste of asbestos can not be used and recycled back in any form (Control of Asbestos Regulation, 2006). Moreover, asbestos included in B3 (Hazardous Toxic Substances) that should not be in the water, soil, and air as it would evoke the health risks. The presence of asbestos in the environment can degrade the quality of the environment, so it is very harmful.
In Australia, require a lot of costs to separate the asbestos waste from the land and restore it as before. Maximum dust content in the air in the average of 8 hours are as follows, asbestos might be present in the air with a maximum concentration of 5 fibers / mL of air and the length of a fiber should not over 5 micrometers.
When someone does an asbestos mining, this activity exploits the soil and surrounding environment. It causes damage to nature. As a result of mining operations, it does not only destroying the soil conditions but also can contaminate the surrounding environment Contamination of toxic substances in soil, water, and air will occur by this activity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 125 million people around the world are exposed to asbestos material which related to lung cancer and 90,000 of them will die every year. This means that every 5 minutes, there is one person who will die because of asbestos-related diseases.
Health Impact of Asbestos Material
Asbestos is a carcinogen substance (cancer-causing substances) and might cause a serious health problem, including pleural plaques, asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer. Diseases caused by asbestos have long latency periods, usually takes 10 to 40 years before showing symptoms.
The most common form of the asbestos disease is pleural plaques, asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers continuously. But, asbestosis is not cancerous. The second type of asbestos-related diseases is mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks the mesothelium in our body and is most often found in the lungs. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is rare and might only found in asbestos-exposed populations. Mesothelioma causes the cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and produce the cells unlimited.
Humans do not realize that they are exposed to the asbestos substance through inhalation and unknowingly aware that it might endanger their health. For that, we need to know the symptoms of diseases caused by asbestos. The symptoms are shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, nail deformity.
Tips and Solutions to Handle Asbestos Materials.
The use of asbestos should be controlled. Due to the impact on the environment and our health. The Government of Japan, Australia, and other countries have done a prohibition against the use of asbestos material so that humans no longer use asbestos as an element in the surrounding environment. Asbestos can be replaced (substitute) with other materials, like Kalsiboard (cellulose fibers, silica, additives, cement, and water), Ardex (synthetic fibers, cellulose fibers, additives, cement, and water), Zinc Eternit (synthetic fibers, cellulose fibers, cement, and water).
The first step to deal with asbestos in your home is by indicating all the building materials in your property. The safe way to handle it is by sealing or lining building materials so that asbestos fibers or dust are not released into the air. To protect your family from the dangers of asbestos in the home, then consider the following:
- Keep the asbestos-containing materials from any activities and keep out of children reach.
- Put danger sign to the asbestos material, so your family aware of the material, especially your children.
- Do not sweep or vacuum your asbestos dust.
- Do sawing or drilling your asbestos-containing material.
- Do not scrubbing floors or materials containing the substance.
- If you can not avoid the contaminated floor with asbestos dust, wipe with a damp cloth.
The asbestos material will be a problem when you want to renovate your house. Therefore, from the beginning, your house should not build with the dangerous material. It is for the sake of your family and our surrounding environment.
For the asbestos workers, the impact can be minimized by using a mask (not just a handkerchief) and wearing overall protective clothes before doing any work with the material. The specification of the clothes better made from cotton with long-sleeved buttoned up to the neck. The best thing is overall clothes, do not forget to use the safety goggles (safety glasses or safety goggles), and disposable gloves.
In order to reduce the impact on the environment, asbestos waste needs to dispose of the waste in the authorized landfill. The disposal of asbestos waste is better not mixed with other materials. Do not forget to keep the container sealed and transported in closed trucks. It’s to prevent the fiber goes airborne.