Most companies in the US stopped using asbestos over forty years ago however, materials that contain asbestos are still found in millions of older buildings across the country. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that contains properties that block heat and dampen the spread of fire. Its fibers can be dangerous to humans when inhaled into the lungs and can potentially lead to cancer in individuals if exposed over a long period of time.
Since asbestos is found in older buildings and is still used in small amounts in certain appliances and other devices, it is still possible to become exposed to asbestos.
Where Does Exposure to Asbestos Happen?
For the most part, exposure to asbestos occurs over a long period of time when working in buildings that have asbestos or generally being exposed to products that contain asbestos. Other possible exposure could occur during a disaster or if you live near a site contaminated with asbestos.
Until the early 1980’s ceiling and floor tiles, drywall, insulation, paint, and even cement contained asbestos. You can find small amounts of asbestos in automotive parts such as clutches, brakes, and other friction-associated materials. So, while the driver of a vehicle is most likely safe from asbestos exposure, a mechanic who works in garages or auto shops is more likely to be exposed.
How Exposure Can Lead to Cancer
The microscopic fibers of asbestos that float in the air can be inhaled into the lungs or swallowed. The body can get rid of most of the fibers, but many can become permanently stuck.
When the fibers accumulate over time, the result can be inflammation and damage to the DNA of cells. This can lead to cancers such as mesothelioma and other diseases that include:
- Laryngeal, Lung, and Ovarian Cancer
- Diffuse Pleural Thickening, Pleural Effusion, and Pleural Plaque
- Asbestosis, Atelectasis, and Pleurisy
Most cancers or diseases caused by exposure to asbestos take decades to develop. For individuals who are exposed to asbestos frequently due to their line of work or constantly being in older buildings can protect themselves to a certain degree by wearing the proper safety equipment. This includes respirator masks. However, the most effective method is to have the potential asbestos removed safely from the site.
Why Call Brickley Environmental?
If you suspect that your building has asbestos, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. We have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to identify and remove asbestos from your property. In addition to asbestos removal, Brickley Environmental offers additional services, including the following:
- Hazardous Waste Removal
- Lead-Based Paint Removal
- Mold Remediation
Call the friendly, courteous staff at Brickley Environmental today. We will listen to your needs, answer questions about our services, and provide the services needed to ensure that the asbestos or other unwanted materials are removed.
For more information about asbestos exposure and how it can cause cancer, click here to visit the National Cancer Institute website.