Asbestos is a generic term used to refer to a group of naturally-occurring fibrous minerals with high resistance to heat, great strength and flexibility, resistance to heat, electricity and chemicals. In the construction industry, you’ll often find asbestos in installed products like pipe insulation, sprayed-on fireproofing, cement pipe, floor tiles, sheet, ceiling tiles, shingles and roofing felts, drywall joint compounds, fire-resistant drywall, and other products. Today, however, very few asbestos-containing products are being installed. Most worker-exposures occur in the process of asbestos waste removal and during maintenance and renovation of buildings or structures containing asbestos.
Danger of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos fibers usually enter the body through inhalation or ingestion of airborne particles that later become embedded in the body tissues of digestive and respiratory systems. Dangerous exposures to asbestos may result in fatal or disabling diseases, including an emphysema-like condition known as asbestosis, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and mesothelioma (a fast-spreading cancerous tumor that affects the cell membranes of the lungs and other body organs). These diseases normally have no symptoms until 20 years (or more) after the first exposure.
How Asbestos can Affect Health
Studies of individuals initially exposed to asbestos in large factories and shipyards indicate that breathing high or dangerous levels of asbestos fibres increases the risk of lung cancer, especially mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdominal cavity and the chest, and asbestosis ,which scar the lungs with fibrous tissue.
The more fibres inhaled, the higher the risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer. Exposure to high levels of asbestos for an extended period of time can significantly increase the risk of asbestosis. If disturbed, asbestos materials release asbestos fibres which, over time, increase the risk of deadly disease. Skip rental is advised for disposal of such materials. Skip hire bolton is a recommended and qualified company that will be able to give you advice on such matters.
How to Dispose of Asbestos
This involves covering or sealing asbestos material. Sealing, or encapsulation, is the treatment of the material using a sealant to bind the asbestos fibers together or just coat the material to prevent the release of fiber. Pipe, boiler, and furnace insulation is sometimes repaired this way, but by a professional who can safely handle asbestos. Covering or enclosure, on the other hand, involves placing a material over/ around the asbestos material to prevent fibers from being released. A protective jacket or wrap may be used to cover exposed insulated piping. Repair is cheaper than asbestos waste removal, though it might make it more difficult and costly to remove asbestos later on.
This is normally the most expensive alternative and should be used as the last option, unless required by local or state regulations. It poses even greater risk of asbestos fibre release. Remodeling your home may disturb asbestos material, prompting the need for removal. Removal is also necessary if material is damaged excessively and repair is not a viable option. A specialised contractor or specialised skip rental company like North West Skip Hire is recommended to do the removal, as incorrect removal can increase the health risks associated with the material fibres. Note that asbestos-shingles can be expensive to remove and correctly dispose of.
A professional should always be contracted to safely dispose asbestos, as the task is dangerous and bares health risks.